Coronavirus: Cruise Ship Clearance Protocols Being Enforced
Officials at the Ministry of Health and Social Development and the Environmental Health Division are reassuring the public on port health in relation to cruise ship clearance protocol.
In response to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak and the public concern, the Ministry explained that preventive and control measures are being undertaken to respond to any threats.
As part of the port health programme and in keeping with the International Health Regulations (2005), the Environmental Health Division receives the Maritime Declaration of Health, Ship Sanitation Control Certificate, passenger and crew list, and other relevant documents 12 to 24 hours prior to all cruise ships arriving in the British Virgin Islands.
The Maritime Declaration of Health declares the health of all passengers and crew on board the ship. Health Officials assess the Maritime Declaration of Health and if there are any issues on the documents, they must be rectified and/or Environmental Health Officers board the ship at the pilot station to further assess the situation on board before the vessel can be cleared.
Additionally, the British Virgin Islands was informed by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) that comprehensive control and pre-cautionary measures are being taken by the cruise industry.
These measures include pre-boarding health screening of cruise passengers during check-in; increased surveillance of influenza like symptoms on the cruise ship; increased environmental sanitation measures; cruise ships must notify the Territory of any illnesses on board as outlined in the International Health Regulations (2005); scanned body temperature of all local authorities, pilots, port agents, ground operator staff, etc. prior to boarding ship.
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