IMPLICATIONS OF THE COVID-19 IN THE CARIBBEAN (UPDATE N°2 From April 6th to 13th, 2020)

ARUBA

The information remains the same. No changes regarding the measures to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 has been announced by the Authorities. (Please see update 5th April, 2020)

BAHAMAS

Prime Minister has announced new measures through the Official Communication called “KEY TAKEAWAYS COVID-19” on April 6th, 2020.

  • Another lockdown period comes into effect on Wednesday 8 April at 9 p.m. until Tuesday 14 April at 5 a.m. The 24-hour curfew will continue.
  • Upon the expiration of the new lockdown (Tuesday 14 April 5a.m.), the 24-hour curfew will
  • Measures and Protocols regarding the COVID 19 at all ports remain the same (See the update on April 5th, 2020).
  • Several empty cruise ships have been granted permission to seek temporary shelter in The Bahamas, protocols have been put in place outlining the conditions of their stay. These protocols outline medical, security and operational
  • Full details of this order and the previous Emergency Order may be found at opmbahamas.com

BONAIRE

The information remains the same. No changes regarding the measures to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 has been announced by the Authorities. (Please see update 5th April,2020)

COLOMBIA

The President of Colombia (Ivan Duque) in his daily speech on April 6th, extended the Mandatory Preventive Isolation or Quarantine for the population of the country provided for in Decree 457 from April 13 to April 26.

 

 

CUBA

Cuba continues with the measures stablished in the “National Plan for Prevention and Confrontation of COVID-19” which involved the processes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), The measures adopted do not affect the arrival of cargo ships, the protocol start prior the arrival of the vessel which consists on verified the last port of call, an interview with the Master with the support of the local bodies of the International Health Control following by the provisions of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Minister of Transport has announced that all public transportation is suspended since April 11th, 2020.

The country is entering in a phase of local transmission of COVID-19 between citizens, given the appearance of confirmed cases of the disease in small neighbourhoods, with no link with Cuban citizens coming from outside or foreign travellers, informed the Minister of Health Dr. José Angel Portal. The announcement was made during the special meeting of the Cabinet headed by President Miguel Diaz on April 6th, 2020

CURACAO

On March 30, for a period of two weeks the Government of Curacao increased curfew towards a “shelter in place”. This means that all people must continue in their homes after 0600 am except for supermarkets, gas stations, bakeries and hardware stores.

Air traffic Incoming flights

  • All commercial flights are cancelled with the exception of inflight carrying local
  • Authorized specialists, freight and medical services between Aruba, Bonaire, St Maarten, St Eustatius and Saba are exceptions to the
  • All returning residents are obliged to spend 14 days in the quarantine. This needs to take place at home, as long as this is

Departing Flights 

  • Only non-residents are allowed to travel. Residents are not allowed to travel abroad

Maritime Traffic

Curacao Port Authority (CPA) has confirmed on April 9th, 2020 the continuity of following measures:

Vessel traffic has been restricted to only cargo, repair and bunkering supply.

A protocol regarding the COVID 19 has to be accomplished 72hrs prior vessel arrival. The Master has to send the Health Declaration during this period. Vessels calling the container or breakbulk terminals should follow measures from Curacao Port Authority. No disembarking is allowed of any crewmember from vessel at berth, unless there is a medical emergency in that case the communication will be at first instance through the emergency numbers.

Spares parts or shipments sent to vessels and landed for export can still be delivered in port and off port taking in consideration the altered scheduled of the transportation by air and sea cargo.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The Government of the Dominican Republic began on February 26, 2020 to take preventive measures against COVID-19, which consisted:

  • Suspension of flights from Europe, China, Korea and Iran, as well as from the Dominican Republic to those countries for a month, from Monday March 16,
  • The Dominican Port Authority, according to a Circular dated March 14, 2020, suspended all docking and disembarking operations of Cruise Ships from March 15 until a new Likewise, the cargo operations are maintained in all the country’s ports, in compliance with the Protocol issued by the Ministry of Public Health.
  • Suspension of commercial activities for 15 days, with the exception of those dedicated to basic activities for the population: health centers, supermarkets, grocery stores, banks, fuel dispensing stations and pharmacies, among
  • Closing of the country’s borders by land, sea and air, for 15 days, starting Thursday, March 19. Similarly, the Government suspended teaching at all school and university centers until Monday, April

President Danilo Medina issued Decree 134-20 on March 19, 2020, declaring a state of emergency throughout the national territory, and informs the necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 restrictions on freedoms of transit, association and assembly were announced. The President continue the measure issuing the Decree 135-20 on March 19, 2020, which establishes the curfew throughout the national territory from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., starting on March 20, until April 3, 2020. The curfew has been successively extended, and it remains in effect until April 18, 2020, from 5:00 pm to 6:00 am. On March 23, President Danilo Medina, through Decree 136-20, modified Decree 135-20 to allow the movement of people and vehicles linked to the industries and commerce of food, energy, water, electricity, telecommunications, ports, airports and other services. basic.

The circulation of inner or intercity public transportation was suspended only the transport of essential goods is authorized.

Regarding maritime transport, as part of the security protocol, the captains and / or managers of the ships must send 48 hours before arrival the health declaration of all the crew, among other required research information, which must be validated by the Ministry of Public Health. Once the health authority validates that all safety requirements are met and after having carried out the respective health inspection of the crew, the ship will be authorized to enter the port.

As part of the preventive measures taken within port operations, it was indicated that all persons boarding ships should wear nitrile gloves and masks.

Port operations continue on a regular basis, but the personnel required to physically work at the port will be limited to critical personnel. Likewise, crew changes and temporary passes to access the terminals are suspended until further notice.

 

 

 

FRENCH GUIANA

On 9 April 2020, the European Union announced a grant of €8M (US$8.6M), which will be implemented by the Caribbean Public Health Agency, for the fight against the COVID 19. French Guyana is one of the 24 members of the mentioned Agency (CARPHA).

The Health Authorities announced a significant number of confirmed cases at an indigenous village. the Prefect of French Guyana has ordered a confinement of the village.

Protocols and procedures regarding COVID19 at all Ports remain the same. Pre-arrival procedure must be accomplished. (See the update on April 5th, 2020)

 

ST EUSTATIUS

The Government of St. Eustatius issued the Emergency Ordinance COVID-19 Additional Measures St. Eustatius in which it imposes a series of measures in its territory to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, which will be in force between April 3 and 14th,2020.The document established a series of prohibitions which are compulsory, fines or penalties will apply in case any violation:

  • People who enter to the island will be isolated (quarantine) including permanent
  • Activities which involved more than fifteen (15) people
  • Economic and commercial activities are suspended, with the exception of supermarkets, service stations, pharmacies and establishments dedicated for the provision of food or
  • The use of protective equipment to prevent COVID-19 infection (gloves and masks); it is recommended to maintain a minimum separation of 1.5 meters from another

In relation to the Maritime activities, the ports are open, but operating with minimal personnel and in shorter period of time. A protocol for the all type of ships calling St. Eustatius Port was implemented. All Masters entering the waters of the Island will be subject to a series of questions by the authorities focussing on crew list, the last 10 ports visited especially in the past 4 weeks and the submission of a Maritime Health Declaration. Ships that do not meet requirements will be placed in quarantine for 15 days.

Direct contact between the different authorities and / or port personnel with any member of the ship is reduced to a minimum, and all persons must carry the respective personal protective equipment at all times. No crewmember is allowed to disembark; crew change is also forbidden.

SURINAME

The Vice President, Ashwin Adhin announced that its borders and all airports would close

On March 19, the government decreted quarentine. That same day they reinforced the borders with French Guiana, Guyana, and Brazil to prevent the entry of possible people infected with the new coronavirus into the country.

The Cuban Embassy in Suriname reported that the medical brigade attached to the International Contingent Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics “Henry Reeve” provide support in Suriname. The mentioned Embassy also said that 51 health professionals, including nurses and doctors, are working at the recently opened hospital in the Wanica distric, caring for patients infected with coronavirus.

The president Desire Bouterse, worried about the situation that the people continue on the streets said that they can’t be on the street from 8 to 6 a.m and she limited gathering to a maximum of 10 people and a social distance of 2

Persons who do not comply with the quarantine rules will be prosecuted by the law. All the persons under investigation will be placed in government quarantine.

The Maritime Authority Suriname (MAS) provide this precaution in order to preventing and/or mitigating the transmission of the COVID-19

  • All ship pre-arrival documents, in particular the crew list and the Maritime Declaration of Health (MDoH) form, shall be authorized by the captain of the ship;
  • If there is a report of a sick person after sending the first MDoH form, a new form shall be drawn up and sent to the MAS;
  • If on arrival of the ship at the light ship (LS) buoy the shipping agent is informed by the crew that a sick person is on board, the he shall pass this information to the MAS/Vessel Traffic Control (VTC) and the Public Health Department (BOG), through the emergency number 178, without delay; and
  • It is prohibited to transport sick crew member to the doctor without prior authorization of BOG

On March 25, 2020 The Maritime Authority Suriname (MAS) provide this precaution in order to preventing and/or mitigating the transmission of the COVID-19 to pilots:

  • Prior to the pilots bearding the vessel, the bridge and equipment must be sanitized including as well as the pilots’ chair, door handles, piloting stations and open bridge wings, radars, chart tables,
  • Port health and the Port authorities must be advised on the health status of all persons onboard as outlined in the pre-arrival documentations.
  • The pilot must be escorted by one person to and from the
  • Pilots will not greet with the customary handshake any shipboard
  • Non-essential crew members should have kept out of the bridge while the vessel is being
  • Where possible, systems should be put in place to allow the vessel to be piloted from the
  • Vessel Captains will be allowed to enter or depart the harbor without a pilot whenever possible
  • All shipboard personnel must maintain a distance of at least two meter from the pilot. This space should also be maintained during Master/Pilot information exchange

 

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

On April 8th, 2020, the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago stated the following restrictions:

  1. Free Pratique will be authorized via VHF by Port Health Authority based on EDP “Early Departure Procedure”, verifying crew list, the last 10 ports visited especially the latest 4 weeks and the submission of a Maritime Health
  2. No shore authorization will be
  3. To board any vessel, visitors must comply the corresponding protocol:
    • Wear protective equipment (mask & gloves) is compulsory, in case the visitor has not wearing the protection the vessel has to provide it,
    • Social distance (1 meters or 3 feet) is suggested,
    • Access to accommodation is restricted,
    • Local Agent personnel and Officers are not allowed to get on board, in case a visitor showed any sign of illness, the vessel has the right to restrict access.
    • Each visitor must complete a form before
  4. Ports still open in service for bunkering, goods, spare, chandlery, however Crew changes are not allowed.

VENEZUELA

The Maritime Authority remains active at the national level, supervising compliance with the health protocols established by the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the National Government, in order to contain the spread of COVID- 19 by sea, lake and river.

The Maritime Authority carries out daily control of the movement of users by water and the traffic of ships (entry of international flags into jurisdictional waters, docking and undocking, arrivals and departures), as well as the supervision of the state of health of the crews that are on board ships.

The Decree 4.186 published on April 12, 2020 extended the State of Alarm for thirty (30) days in the national territory.

NOTE:  INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM OFFICIAL SOURCES

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *