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Additional COVID-19 measures

  • calendar

    25 February 2020

  • location

    South Africa



South Africa’s national ports authority, Transnet, has advised that the following measures have been introduced at the country’s eight commercial ports:

  • It is important that all vessel Masters make accurate declarations of health and, if in doubt, consult with a medical practitioner to be arranged by the vessel agent. Masters unable to communicate in English stand the risk of not receiving services until a translator is arranged. Any false declaration will be reported to the South African Maritime Safety Authority and health officials for further action.

  • Masters of all vessels must display the “Q” flag if all persons onboard are healthy but the Free Pratique has NOT been granted by Port Health. This means that the Master declares all crew & personnel onboard are healthy and he/she request Free Pratique.

  • The “Q” flag should remain on the main mast until the vessel has been cleared by Port Health and Free Pratique has been granted.

  • Pilots shall use personal protective equipment (PPE) when boarding any vessel to protect themselves, even if the Master has declared all onboard are healthy. Disposable PPE is to remain on board the vessel – Master to make arrangements for disposal as per vessel procedure for disposal of medical waste.

  • Waste removal from Off Port Limits vessels and vessels at anchorages are to cease immediately until advised or the situation has returned to normal.

  • If any of the last 10 port calls was to a port in China, no waste will be disposed of in any South African port.

  • Permission from Port Health and the Harbour Master’s office is required prior to any interaction with vessels from China or high risk vessels (i.e. those with person having any illness). This also applies to bunker barges/ships and small vessels.

Suspected cases of COVID-19 must be discussed with the NICD of the National Health Laboratory Service, in line with Standard Operating Procedures by the National Department of Health Directorate.

The NICD Hot Line number is: 066 562 4021 or 079 495 6739.

Local Port Health Office must be informed of any suspected cases.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in South Africa, contact GAC South Africa at shipping.capetown@gac.com

If quoting any content from Hot Port News, please cite GAC Hot Port News as the source.