In light of the COVID-19 situation, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry issued a new circular, providing updates on precautions to minimize the disease’s risks concerning seafarers, passengers and others onboard ships.
In fact, the circular advice all registered owners, registered bareboat charterers, managers and representatives of ships flying the Cyprus Flag to be aware of:
- IMO Circular Letter No.4204/Add.2 of 21 February 2020 containing the “Joint Statement of the IMO- World Health Organization (WHO) on the Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak”. While recognising the need to prevent the introduction or spread of the disease, the Joint IMO-WHO Statement inter alia notes that unnecessary interference with maritime traffic should be minimised. The Joint IMO-WHO Statement further highlights the importance of avoiding causing unnecessary restrictions or delay on port entry to ships, persons and property on board.
- IMO Circular Letter No.4204/Add.3 of 2 March 2020 containing “Operational Considerations for Managing COVID-19 cases/outbreak on board ships” developed by the WHO. This document inter alia contains guidance on pre-boarding and pre-disembarkation information, pre-boarding screening, crew education, managing a suspected case on board, disembarkation of a suspect case, development and activation of a written outbreak plan for passenger ships as well as obligations of shipowners to inform the authorities of the next port of call of any suspected case.
- IMO Circular Letter No.4204/Add.4 of 5 March 2020 containing “Guidance for ship operators for the protection of the health of seafarers” prepared by the International Chamber of Shipping in response to the coronavirus outbreak to support all types of ships and help shipping companies follow advice provided by United Nations Agencies, including the IMO, the WHO as well as the International Labour Organization and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Among other, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry recommends all shipowners and managers of vessels flying Cyprus Flag to take note and implement the measures contained in the latest IMO Circular Letters No.4204/Add.2, No.4204/Add.3 and No.4204/Add.4 as well as the Interim Advice for Ship Operators prepared at the request of the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety-DG SANTE.
Overall, Cyprus’s Deputy Minister for Shipping, Natasa Pilides recently announced that the country’s shipping industry has been largely affected by the global spread of coronavirus.
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