Puertos del Estado prepares a Good Practices Guide for passenger movement during the pandemic
- The General Directorate of the Merchant Navy and of Foreign Health, in addition to the Port Community, have also participated
05-13-2020 (Ministry of Transportation, Mobility and Urban Agenda).
Puertos del Estado, along with the General Directorate of the Merchant Navy and of Foreign Health and the Port Community, has prepared a Recommendations Guide for passenger traffic by sea, to facilitate the adoption of preventive measures that ships and port facilities must implement in order to effectively and safely roll back the state of alarm and return to a "new normal". The aim is to protect all passengers, ground staff in contact with passengers and ship crew, whilst generating a safe environment for passenger transportation by sea.
These recommendations will be specifically implemented in each ship, port and maritime station, depending on their physical and organizational characteristics, traffic type and volume, and other factors that may influence how these document measures are applied.
When drawing up the measures to be adopted by shipping companies and port facilities, not only will these recommendations be taken into account, but also any instructions issued by other competent administrations or authorities.
Let us recall the current operation of inter-island traffic in both archipelagos and between mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands, although cruiseship traffic is still suspended under the Royal Decree.
This document, in addition to other COVID-19 documents already drawn up by Puertos del Estado, will be posted on www.puertos.es.
Purchase of tickets and boarding cards
- On-line processing should be encouraged, in order to avoid on-site passenger presence at maritime stations, thus avoiding contact between terminal staff and passengers, or passenger contact with surrounding objects.
- For passengers purchasing tickets in person, social distancing measures should be reinforced in sales window lines.
- Shipping companies and/or maritime stations will include a link on their home pages, providing relevant information for passengers and conductors of cargo trucks or buses. When purchasing a ticket or issuing a boarding card, a contact telephone number and e-mail address will be required for each passenger and cargo truck or bus conductor, in order to be reached and informed of any changes in the healthcare situation.
- Passenger information and awareness means will be included in several languages, to encourage abidance by healthcare measures at all times, seeking to avoid infections and the spreading of the virus, particularly advising against traveling if any passenger is showing symptoms.
- Cabin tickets will only be sold for full cabins or a cabin per vehicle, and no single beds will be available.
- All purchasers will be informed of the measures adopted to guarantee health safety, for their awareness and application during boarding, disembarkment and the journey at sea.
- Any specific procedures already existing to assist the handicapped and/or passengers with reduced mobility will be adapted.
Passenger boarding/disembarkment at maritime stations, en route or on a cruise
- The measures described are indistinctly addressed to Port Authorities, managers of port facilities, facility concessionaires, passenger service licensees, sales suppliers, shipowners, ground staff and the passengers themselves. Each party will be responsible for implementing and fulfilling these measures through applicable Prevention and Business Activity Coordination Plans.
- All infrastructures will be fitted out, to ensure basic social distancing and to reduce physical contact with personal surroundings as much as possible. Clear messages will be sent to all passengers and terminal staff, through loudspeakers and signs in various languages.
- Areas will be designated to deliver and/or sell protective material.
- A protocol should be in place for the treatment of passengers with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 at the port's maritime stations, to be defined between the Port and Healthcare Authorities. This protocol will be included in each maritime station's Self-Protection Plan, ensuring its awareness by all terminal staff.
- Adequate ventilation will be guaranteed in all rooms, to ensure that air is recycled as much as possible.
- Social distancing will be maintained and constantly supervised by ground staff, to avoid overcrowding in any port terminal areas.
- Ground staff will receive basic training on current rules and recommendations to prevent COVID-19 infections.
- Hygienic, cleaning and disinfection measures will be reinforced at all port facilities. Measures may be adopted for the hygiene and disinfection of checked-in luggage at port facilities prior to stowage and/or before being returned to passengers following the ship's arrival at the port.
- All terminal staff will adopt the necessary measures to fulfill the "Good Practices Guide at Work Centers" issued by the Spanish Ministry of Health, to include any future updates and specifications that may apply at all times.
- If disinfection protocols are used, based on ultraviolet light, biocide nebulization or pulverization, ozonization or other procedures, these must be certified or validated as required by the competent authorities, and used following the rules and recommendations issued by the Ministry of Health and any manufacturer instructions.
- A regularly convened coordination committee at each port or Port Authority is recommended, made up by the Port Authority, Health Authority, Maritime Captaincy, concessionaires, authorized parties, licensees, consignees and shipowners, in order to implement any measures adopted at all times, following the competent authorities' instructions.
On board the ship
- Each ship will have a Contingency Plan in place to manage and handle potential COVID-19 cases, duly adapted to each particular ship.
- In order to guarantee any social distancing measures in force at all times, limited passenger movement may be recommended and alerted once on board, and measures implemented to control capacity in common areas.
- Hygiene and cleansing will be intensified in all common areas, particularly in catering facilities, reducing contact between passenger utensils and the crew and prioritizing individually packaged utensils.
- In those cases where passengers or crew members with COVID-19—compatible symptoms are detected, any waste generated by such passengers or crew will be particularly handled, through reinforced hygiene and disinfection measures.
- Specific procedures should be created in each company's Management System, gathering the measures presented in this Guide, to include others seeking to minimize the ground exit of the crew once the ship is moored (amongst others); contact with ground staff will also be reduced to the least possible in order to handle any issues raised by the ship's activity; the possibility will be examined of working shifts amongst the crew, creating "airtight" groups, applying good practices such as not replacing the captain and machine operator (along with other senior officers).