10 February 2020

Advice for shipping companies on the new type of coronavirus COVID19

Coronvirus pandemic
The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced on 11 March 2020 the outbreak of pandemia called coronavirus COVID -19. All nations are taking steps to stop the deadly coronavirus, that spread across the all world.

17+1 Secretariat continues work despite COVID-19

Secretariat continues to function effectively. The majority of staff are working remotely, making full use of telecommuting and teleconferencing technology. External visits have been postponed and social visits are discouraging. The need to move to this operational mode is intended to help protect staff and visitors and contribute to wider mitigation efforts. Despite working from home, staff remain fully committed to it’s objectives.

17+1 Phone calls
President Xi Jinping with Polish President Andrzej Duda here
President Xi Jinping with Serbian President Aleksander Vučicic here
Prime Minister Li Keqiang with Croatian Prime Minister Andrei Plenković here

At the same time, the shipping sector has a key role to play in overcoming the crisis throughout the supply of goods, in particular medicines, medical devices, food and other essentials. To ensure that shipping can maintain their position, the free movement of goods between 17 + 1 Member States must be guaranteed. We must also support and encourage all staff working in transport. Their contribution  is crucial to overcoming this crisis.

As coronavirus causes respiratory disease, the WHO advises people how to protect themselves and their environment from the disease. In view of the current crisis situation, some countries have introduced border controls, suspended air, rail and shipping passengers services. As a result, international travel, in particular in connection with participation in international events (e.g. fairs, conferences), has been cancelled or postponed in the near future. We call on you to follow the reports on coronavirus in your countries.

Communication for those planning to travel to China

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against any travel to the People’s Republic of China.

As of 28 March this year, a ban on entry for foreigners into China is introduced until further notice, including those holding visas and residence cards issued before the introduction of the new rules. Entry to China will be possible for persons holding visas and residence cards issued by PRC consulates after March 28. Before coming to China, it is recommended to contact the nearest Embassy of the PRC, the institution organizing the stay, university, hotel or apartment owner in order to confirm the possibility of arrival and conditions of further stay. As of March 29, until further notice, the number of international passengers flights to China is limited (applies to Chinese and foreign carriers). The above rules do not apply to cargo flights, without passengers.

Read more
International Maritime Health Association (IMHA) advice for shipping companies here
International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) advice to ship operators on seafarers’ health protection here
WHO technical guidelines for the detection and management of sick travellers suspected of COVID-19 infection, including in ports, can be downloaded here
The WHO operational considerations for COVID-19 case/event management on board ships can be downloaded here
WHO provides tourist advice on disease (COVID-19) here
Wilhelmsen COVID-19 Global Port Restrictions Map  here