News

Revised procedures for maritime support services

On the 26th of May, the Ports and Yachting Directorate have issued newly revised temporary precautionary measures in relation with the protocol for conducting maritime support services which shall be applicable to all vessels that have been cleared to obtain services in Maltese waters and ports.

Below is a list of the revised temporary precautionary measures which have replaced the previous Port Notice 09/2020:

A. With regards Conveyance with STS Surveyors and Mooring Masters (Technical Personnel):

For a Service duration of a few hours but within the same 24 hours:

  • All necessary documentation including the Maritime Declaration of Health and the last ports of call in the previous 30 days for the subject vessel, together with the details of the technical personnel rendering the service, must be provided to the Port Health Doctor.
  • On return ashore, no quarantine is required as long as there is compliance with the PPE and IPC measures listed below.
  • Should any technical personnel experience fever or any COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days following the provision of the service, or results positive following a swab test, 111 must be immediately called and the Port Health Doctor notified of the positive swab test result.

For a Service duration lasting more than 24 hours:

  • All necessary documentation including the Maritime Declaration of Health and the last ports of call in the previous 30 days for the subject vessel, together with the details of the technical personnel rendering the service, must be provided to the Port Health Doctor.
  • On return ashore, the technical personnel are to be screened at port side by the nurses from the airport clinic, Port Health Medical Services. Thereafter, the personnel must proceed to a 14-day mandatory quarantine. The local shipping agent is responsible to facilitate the transportation of the nurses to conduct the entry screen.
  • Should any technical personnel experience fever or any COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days following the provision of the service, or results positive following a swab test, 111 must be immediately called and the Port Health Doctor notified of the positive swab test result.
  • A swab test must be carried out on day 12 of the quarantine in a private laboratory facility.

For a Service rendered OTW exceeding 5 working days:

  • Technical personnel must do a negative COVID-19 swab test 48 hours prior embarking on the subject vessel.
  • The PPE and IPC measures listed in point 2. below must be followed as best as possible and reasonably practicable.
  • On return ashore, the technical personnel are to be screened at port side by the nurses from the airport clinic, Port Health Medical Services. Thereafter, the technical personnel must proceed to a 14-day mandatory quarantine. The local shipping agent is responsible to facilitate the transportation of the nurses to conduct the entry screen.
  • Should any technical personnel have fever or any COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days following the provision of the service, 111 must be immediately called and the Port Health Doctor notified of the positive swab test result.

A swab test must be carried out on day 12 of the quarantine in a private laboratory facility.

B. With regards to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Infection Prevention Control (IPC):

  1. Technical personnel providing STS or mooring support services are to remain on deck whilst being transferred with the service/conveyance boat, whereas the crew of such boat are to remain inside the cabin.
  2. The details of the service/conveyance boats providing conveyance services or proceeding to render services outside territorial waters (OTW) are to be notified to the Port Health Doctor to expedite contact tracing should this be required.
  3. All technical personnel in attendance are to wear appropriate facial masks, googles and overall safety suits.
  4. All technical personnel are to take IPC measures such as social distancing and frequent hand hygiene to prevent fomite spread.

C. Travel ban exemption for repatriation or in connection with ship operations:

  1. To be referred to the Superintendent of Public Health for consideration on a case by case basis.
  2. If approved, conditions will be communicated by the Port Health Office.

D. Fishing vessels – Tuna Season:

To be referred to the Superintendent of Public Health for consideration on a case by case basis.

If approved, conditions will be communicated by the Port Health Office.

E. Yachting / ship maintenance requests, and other requests related to the maritime industry:

  1. To be referred to the Superintendent of Public Health for consideration on a case by case basis.
  2. If approved, conditions will be communicated by the Port Health Office.

News Item written by Dr Sean Xerri de Caro.

For more information on the above kindly contact Dr Robert Tufigno on rtufigno@gtgadvocates.com or Dr Sean Xerri de Caro on sxerridecaro@gtgadvocates.com.

This article is not intended to impart legal advice and readers are asked to seek verification of statements made before acting on them.