Tighter restrictions at SA ports to fend off coronavirus outbreak

Durban harbour. File photo. Image: Supplied

The SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) said on Sunday six ships were docked at or en route to the Cape Town and Durban ports before tightened Covid-19 restrictions.

Regulations promulgated on March 18 provide for the prohibition of embarkation and disembarkation of certain passengers and crews at SA seaports.

Another requirement is for improved hygiene control and sanitisation facilities on ships and at seaports and port facilities operated by licensed operators, offshore cargo handling facilities, port repair facilities, providers of port services, port terminals, and licensed port operations.

The regulations further provide for implementation of tracking and monitoring systems at seaports, and reporting, as well as prohibition of holding of mass gatherings of more than 100 people in seaports.

Update on the vessels either en route to or already berthed in a SA port:

  • Aidamira 1,240 passengers to be disembarked using agreed upon protocols; 10 crew members will be joining prior departure of the vessel. Docked in Cape Town 21 / 22 March 2020
  • Norwegian Spirit 1,759 passengers to be disembarked using agreed upon protocols. Anchored in Cape Town
  • Silver Cloud 169 passengers to be disembarked using agreed upon protocols. Docked in Cape Town
  • Arcadia Nil passengers to disembark, 6 SA crew to sign off as allowed per regulations. Docked in Durban TBC
  • Astor Nil passengers to disembark. Docked in Durban
  • MSC Orchestra 2,408 passengers disembarked using agreed upon protocols. Docked in Durban.

The department of transport through Samsa has established joint operations committees at port level, which will feed into a national joint operations committee situated in Pretoria.

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