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Novel Coronavirus: Entry restrictions for commercial vessels

  • calendar

    6 February 2020

  • location

    Australia

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On 1 February 2020, the Prime Minister of Australia announced that any foreign travellers who have left or transited through mainland China on or after 1 February 2020 will be refused entry to Australia, in order to minimise the potential spread of Novel Coronavirus.

Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand 444 visa holders who would normally reside in Australia and their immediate family, legal guardians and spouses will be exempt from these measures, but will be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days after leaving mainland China.

The Australian Border Force (ABF), working with partner agencies, will establish advanced screening and reception arrangements to facilitate identification of those individuals to whom these measures apply.

The ABF acknowledges the impact this will have on operations.

All vessel masters will be required to answer the following health screening questions as part of their entry reporting:

  • Have any persons left or transited through mainland China since 1 February 2020?
  • Have any persons become ill or shown signs of illness in the past 14 days?

 

ABF and Biosecurity officers remain responsible for border clearance processes. Vessels that report ill persons will undergo a human health inspection by a Biosecurity Officer on arrival in Australia, and before the vessel is granted pratique.

Vessels that report persons who have been in mainland China within 14 days (commencing on or after 1 February 2020) will be subject to additional restrictions outlined in this document.

For Commercial Vessels that departed mainland China prior to 1 February 2020

  • Standard Biosecurity requirements and restrictions will apply. You must still identify any ill traveller or member of the crew as part of your pre-arrival report.

 

For Commercial Vessels that departed mainland China on or after 1 February 2020 and arrive within 14 days of last port being in mainland China

  • All crew will be restricted on-board while the vessel is berthed in Australia. 
  • Crew are only able to disembark to conduct essential vessel functions and crew must wear personal protective equipment while performing these functions.
  • The restrictions above apply until 14 days has elapsed since the vessel or any person on board left mainland China.

 

For Commercial Vessels with crew joining from mainland China

  • Where a commercial vessel has crew joining the vessel and that crew have travelled to or transited through mainland China on or since 1 February 2020, all crew are to remain on board the vessel.
  • Crew are only able to disembark to conduct essential vessel functions and crew must wear personal protective equipment while performing these functions. 
  • The restrictions above apply until 14 days has elapsed since the vessel or any person on board left mainland China.

 

For Maritime Industry

  • Industry members engaging with commercial maritime vessels subject to the restriction outlined above should consider the use of personal protective equipment.
  • Maritime Pilots will be provided personal protective equipment for the initial engagement with those vessels subject to restrictions.

 

Local Port Authority

The requirements outlined in this document are required to facilitate border clearance of vessels and their crew. Local port authorities may have additional requirements over and above those outlined.

The ABF appreciates your ongoing support and cooperation during this time. For additional support, please contact the Border Operation Centre at +61 1300 368 126.

For general information concerning the Novel Coronavirus please refer to the Department of Health website (https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov)

(For information about operations in Australia contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@gac.com)

Source: Australia Border Force Advice to Commercial Vessels dated 6 February 2020

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