IMPLICATIONS OF THE COVID-19 IN THE CARIBBEAN (UPDATE N°1 April 5, 2020)

ARUBA

Since March 21, 2020 the government of Aruba implemented limited transportation from 21:00 to 06:00 hrs. some exceptions may apply with authorization. Sanctions were imposed for citizens who violate this provision.

Suspension of incoming international flights. No person may enter the country, this restriction also counts for the residents of Aruba. Empty flights can only arrive to pick up passengers leaving Aruba to take them to their destination.

A standard pre-arrival documents will be followed; an additional Marine Health Declaration form has to be submitted.

Passengers ships calls are temporarily suspended. Cargo, repair, bunker, load/discharge calls remain possible as normal. Offshore attendance continues as normal (exception: crew changes). All ports in Aruba are open as normal.

BAHAMAS

On March 27, 2020 an Emergency Order, “Emergency Powers (COVID 19) (NO. 2) Order, 2020”, was announced by Prime Minister and on March 31, Preventative restrictions are being enforced to prevent further spread of COVID-19, including:

  • No visitor shall be permitted to enter and disembark for any reason including transiting through The Bahamas.
  • All airports throughout the entire Bahamas, including private airports and fixed-base operations (FBOs), shall be closed to all flights.
  • All sea ports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring and private boating.
  • Air and sea restrictions do not apply to: cargo flights or cargo ships, commercial courier flights, emergency medical flights or emergency flights approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.
  • All international visitors currently in The Bahamas should be prepared to stay for an indefinite period of time.
  • The citizen’s movement is restricted except for those who have been deemed essential workers, or have special permission from the Commissioner of Police or for essential provisions.
  • Proper social distancing guidelines of at least six feet (6ft.) must be followed at all times while outside the home.
  • Full details of this order and the previous Emergency Order may be found at opmbahamas.com

BONAIRE


Bonaire does not present a confirmed case with COVID-19 infection.

Edison Rijna the Governor of Bonaire, during a press conference on March 18th, 2020 informed about the actions taken to prevent the pandemic COVID-19 in the Island which consisted:

As a preventive measure, the authorities decided to close the airspace until April 10 for all passenger flights from Europe and other countries that present a high risk of spread of the coronavirus, such as: The Netherlands and other countries of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, China, Iran, South Korea and the United States.

An additional Marine Health Declaration form has to be submitted in addition to standard pre-arrival docs.

Passengers ships calls are temporarily suspended. Cargo-, repair-, bunker-, load/discharge calls remain possible as normal. Off port attendance to remain as normal (exception: crew changes). All ports in Bonaire are open as normal.

Bonaire residents currently in the Netherlands cannot return until further notice.

 

 

COLOMBIA


Instructions from the Government of Colombia to face the coronavirus pandemic issued in Decree 457.

Mandatory Preventive Isolation or quarantine is established for all the inhabitants of the country for a period of 19 days from 25MAR20 to 13ABR20.

The norm totally limits the free movement of people and vehicles in the national territory, with exceptions that seek to guarantee the right to life, health and survival of the country’s inhabitants.

During this period, domestic air transport is suspended, being limited to cases of humanitarian emergency, transport of cargo and merchandise, and in fortuitous cases or force majeure.

International air operations are fully enabled but there are restrictions on the entry of passengers and flights from abroad. Likewise, there is the temporary suspension of flights from some countries such as: Italy, Spain, Chile and Peru. Similarly, flights to different countries are still allowed, with the aim that foreign citizens can return to their places of origin.

With respect to other means of transport, it is indicated that the public service of land, cable, river and sea passenger transport, postal services and parcel distribution must be guaranteed in the national territory, which are strictly necessary to prevent, mitigate and attend to the health emergency due to the coronavirus COVID-19.

It is highlighted that among the exceptions established in the Decree, the activities of the ports of public and private service are exclusively for cargo transportation. Free Pratique will be subject to Sanitation officer’s approval. Health declaration is requested and must be sent on daily basis and three (3) hours before ship’s arrival. No cruise vessel is allowed. No shore leaves. The local agent at some ports are only allowed to board during clearing of vessel and carry out the key meeting, further assistance by agent will continue in a remote way.

 

CUBA

On March 20, 2020, Cuban Authorities stablished the “National Plan for Prevention and Confrontation of COVID-19” which involved the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), among others, the prohibition of entry of any alien citizen; only residents of the country are allowed to enter, and upon arrival must maintain a mandatory two-week quarantine. Tourists who still remain on the island are advised to leave.

On March 31, 2020, the government announced the suspension of international charter and commercial flights for a period of 30 days. Only international connecting flights passing to the island are permitted for the departure of foreigners.

Mandatory quarantine has not been announced or decreed, but it did decide to close schools and banned inter-province transportation and public events. Some neighborhoods are isolated due to the quantity of confirm cases.

The measures adopted do not affect the arrival of cargo ships but preventive actions indicated in the National Plan will be taken, the protocol start prior the arrival of the vessel which consist 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 the provisions of the World Health Organization (WHO). Authorities must be notified previously in case of any crew member contagion on board. Extra measures with the corresponding protective equipment for pilots, customs and immigrations officer and other visitors are applied.

The permanence or entry into Cuban territorial waters of sport, pleasure or passenger ships are not allowed.

 

FRENCH GUIANA

French Guiana is under lockout, all measures taken in all France regarding the COVID 19 Pandemic are applied in this area due to is an overseas department and region of the French Republic. Any move from people which is non-essential journey must be declared by an attestation Letter and reasons of going out must be on the authorized list.

Borders with neighbour countries are closed and flight from/to France are extremely restricted to medical/urgent work/family emergency.

Regarding Shipping business, no restrictions for merchant shipping operations but protocols and procedures regarding COVID19 has to follow. Pre-arrival procedure must be accomplished.  A Health Declaration will be requested to Masters as part of the procedure. In case of any member of crew presents fever, then Harbour Master will contact specialized medical Centre who will instruct isolation measures to be taken. In case no case declared by Master, then vessel can berth normally.

Most ports, pilots/tugs/linemen decided to reduce their team at minimum, service is still in force but impossible to berth/sail/anchor from 2300hrs to 0500hrs. Terminals still working in reduce team.

The prohibition of the docking of passenger ships of more than 30 m, in this case cruise ships, in the port of Dégrad des Cannes, by order of March 13, 2020, by the Prefect of Guyana, government delegate for state action at sea.

French Prime Minister announced that the lockdown would be extended until 15 April.

 

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Trinidad & Tobago Government decided to close the borders to all alien except citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, any exception to this rule requires authorization from the Ministry of National Security. Citizens returning to the country must be quarantined for 14 days.

Trinidad and Tobago’s airports are closed until April 30, 2020.

The arrival of cruise ships during the remainder of the cruise season 2019-2020 are not allowed.

On Sunday 29th March, all non-essential activities will be prohibited until April 15th.

The Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago reported that the following Coronavirus protocols and procedures (COVID19) must be complied by ships calling Trinitarians ports.

Permission for a ship to enter the port will be granted after complying with the quarantine period or upon displaying Declaration of Health from the Master of Vessel which is compulsory via electronic no later than Forty Eight (48) Hrs, prior to the vessel’s arrival and must be submitted to the email: pposhse@patnt.com. Crewmembers of foreign vessels are forbidden to disembark (including cargo vessels). This requirement must be accomplished before Pilot, Custom, Immigration, surveyors, crew members boards the ship

Vessels requesting to dock in port must comply with the navigation notices SN1 – 2020, SN2 – 2020 and SN3 – 2020 issued by the MOWT.

All vessels arriving in Trinidad and Tobago, ships must comply with the required documents via the Single Electronic Window e-Maritime Module (Pre – arrival Notification), no later than Seventy-Two (72) Hrs, prior to the vessel’s arrival.

 

 

 

VENEZUELA

On March 13, 2020 decreed the STATE OF ALARM to attend to the coronavirus health emergency (COVID-19), valid for 30 days, renewable for the same period.

The decree implies the suspension of work activities. Only vehicular or pedestrian circulation is allowed for the acquisition of essential goods: food, medicine, medical products; the transfer to healthcare facilities; the transfer of doctors, nurses and other health workers; transfers and displacements of vehicles and people from activities that were not suspended.

The activities of the National Port System are exempt from suspension.

The National Aquatic Authority took the following measures:

  • Free pratique will be granted after inspection of the crew by an official from the Ministry of Health and verification of the requirements of the Free Sanitary Discussion Sheet for Ships. Once the free pratique has been granted, the other authorities will board the ship to carry out their respective inspections.
  • In the event that free pratique is not granted, the competent authorities will act in accordance with the provisions of the “Manual for the Management of Public Health Events on board vessels” of the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • The ship’s crew must use the personal protective equipment provided to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), such as: rubber gloves and masks; as well as guaranteeing compliance with the corresponding hygiene measures in the ship’s common areas.
  • Suspension of boarding and disembarking of ship crews in all ports of the national territory.
  • Suspension of the departure of sports boats.

For its part, the National Institute of Civil Aeronautic (INAC) restricted operations in general and commercial aviation areas, to and within the country; reinforcing safety and health actions throughout the national territory. Only overflights, landing and take-off of cargo and mail are allowed.

NOTE:  INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM OFFICIAL SOURCES

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