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ICS issues coronavirus guidance

Coronavirus continues to spread and so do the impacts on the maritime sector. To help mitigate the problem, the International Chamber of Shipping has published its own guidance for the sector

The guidance addresses all types of vessels voyaging in international waters

THE International Chamber of Shipping has published new guidance on the coronavirus outbreak for crew, owners and operators.

“The guidance document has been designed to support all types of ships that operate in international waters with the most up-to-date and effective information needed to limit the spread of the coronavirus,” the ICS said in a statement.

The guidance by the world’s biggest shipowners’ group advises on port entry restrictions, protective measures for seafarers, pre-boarding information and how to deal with suspected cases of infection.

“Ships should develop a written outbreak management plan. Seafarers on board should have knowledge of the outbreak management plan and implement it as required,” the ICS said.

The guidance echoes that issued by the World Health Organisation last week. The chamber developed its guidelines with support from the WHO, the International Maritime Organization, Mediterranean Shipping Company and Wilhelmsen Ships Service and others.

“It is intended to be comprehensive, but also easy to understand and implement,” ICS secretary-general Guy Platten said. “It will provide shipowners and operators who are dealing with the sharp end of the crisis with the reassurance and guidance needed to continue to carry out their operations.” 

The seafarers’ union Nautilus International last week reported that Stena Line is requiring all of its crew to go through pre-boarding screenings, including mandatory health check questionnaire tests with a thermal scan machine.

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