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Guidelines at seaports for prevention of spread of COVID-19

  • calendar

    12 March 2020

  • location

    Philippines

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The Philippines Bureau of Quarantine [is] implementing the following measures at all seaports for all maritime vessels:

GENERAL PREVENTIVE MEASURES

  • All vessel officer and crew must have knowledge of the ship’s outbreak management plan.
  • All vessels must follow the World Health Organization interim guidance “Operational Considerations for Managing COVID-19 Cases/Outbreak On Board Ships” issued on February 24, 2020.
  • Waste disposal of vessels coming in from restricted territories or countries in the past 14 days are not allowed in Philippine ports.

GUIDELINES FOR CRUISE VESSELS

  • All cruise ships with passengers, regardless of nationality, from travel-restricted territories or countries or had passed through within the past 14 days are not allowed to dock at any Philippine port.
  • All cruise ships not calling on the ports of travel-restricted territories or countries within the last 14 days are allowed to dock in Philippine ports. They must undergo complete screening measures, submission of duly-accomplished Maritime Declaration of Health, and other pertinent documents related to COVID-19.
  • All cruise ships allowed to dock must declare all travel itineraries/excursions in the Philippines.
  • Vessel crew must conduct pre-boarding screening at the port of origin to prevent introduction of disease onboard. They must be trained to recognise signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (eg fever, cough, colds, shortage of breath, difficulty breathing, muscle cramps, abdominal pain and diarrhea). The master of the vessel must report immediately any occurrence of flu-like symptoms. In an even of flu-like manifestation arise, the master must immediately report to the Quarantine Medical Officer (QMO) for guidance on implementing infection prevention and control protocols to minimize the spread of infection on board.
  • The QMO will conduct triaging of case/s using current case definition.
  • No Filipinos are allowed to embark in any cruise ship going to travel-restricted territories or countries.

GUIDELINES FOR CARGO VESSELS

  • All vessels calling from travel-restricted territories or countries, regardless of 14 days incubation period of the disease, must be boarded at the quarantine anchorage.
  • Upon arrival at quarantine anchorage, the master of the vessel must hoist at its foremast the yellow flag and inform immediately the Quarantine station at assigned port through ship agents. Strictly no embarkation/disembarkation policy.
  • Quarantine Boarding formalities shall ensure – the master of the vessel shall submit a duly-accomplished Maritime Declaration of Health and other pertinent document and BOQ shall issue Free Pratique. The Custom, Immigration and Port State boarding formalities commence after issuance of Free Pratique.
  • Vessels cleared at the first port of entry and calling another local port, within 14 days of travel from restricted territories or countries, must be boarded at the designated Quarantine anchorage area by QMO, submit duly-accomplished Maritime Declaration of Health and other pertinent documents.
  • Vessel crew must be trained to recognize signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (eg fever, cough, colds, shortage of breath, difficulty breathing, muscle cramps, abdominal pain and diarrhea). The master of the vessel must report immediately any occurrence of flu-like symptoms. In an even of flu-like manifestation arise, the master must immediately report to the Quarantine Medical Officer (QMO) for guidance on implementing infection prevention and control protocols to minimize the spread of infection on board.
  • The QMO will conduct triaging of case/s using current case definition.
  • Ship agent of vessel with PUI situated in a non-competent port will arrange the immediate diversion of the vessel to the nearest competent port (Manila and Cebu) in the Philippine territory.
  • PUI in a competent port will be conducted to a dedicated hospital and the vessel will be declared as affected vessel. A confirmed laboratory result of case will commence a 14-day quarantine at the anchorage and hoist the Lima flag. Day zero starts at the conduction of the PUI. ON the 14th day, the QMO will board the vessel, examine the documents, muster the crew and issue a Free Pratique. The master of vessel may then lower down the yellow flag, and other formalities will commence.

(For further details and updates, or information about operations in the Philippines, contact GAC Philippines at philippines@gac.com)

Source: Philippines Bureau of Quarantine, Department of Health, Memorandum Circular No.2020-07

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