The following provides important information on the Coronavirus and measures that the Tasmanian Ports Corporation (TasPorts) has put in place. This information is designed for port tenants, facility operators, shipping agents and any other organisation that interfaces with vessels in Tasmanian waters.
06 February 2020
Coronaviruses are a type of virus that can affect
humans and animals. Some coronaviruses
cause illness similar to the common cold while other coronaviruses cause
more serious illness, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is primarily affecting people who have recently been in the city of Wuhan,
China, or had contact
with sick people from Wuhan.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS
AND WHAT IS THE RISK OF CORONAVIRUS TO YOU?
Symptoms of Coronavirus include fever, cough, sore throat and difficulty breathing.
Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia that
requires prompt medical attention.
The Australian Department of Health has advised that the risk to workers at
Australian border is considered relatively low. While the government
remain vigilant, they have advised it is more likely that passengers and crew
displaying infectious symptoms have a common respiratory infection such as influenza, rather than Coronavirus.
WHAT MEASURES AND
SIGNAGE WILL YOU SEE AROUND TASMANIAN PORTS IMPLEMENTED BY BORDER PROTECTION
Border Protection Agencies focus is those vessels arriving with
passengers or crew who have either originated
or have transited through China in the previous 14 days.
Signs will be placed at pedestrian access
the port including passenger entry points for cruise ship
passengers (refer right).
Biosecurity and Customs
will be applying some
processing passengers or crew onboard vessels that have been identified and declared as ill.
The PPE attire they could
be wearing may consist of mask, glasses
gloves. Do not
be alarmed if you see
border protection agencies wearing this PPE attire, is a precautionary measure.
WHAT ADDITIONAL MEASURES IS
TASPORTS PUTTING IN PLACE?
TasPorts takes the wellbeing of its staff and port workers seriously
and wants to ensure that, where possible, risk of virus infection is reduced.
In addition to the Australian Government Border Protection
Arrangements for Travellers, and in consultation with Government,
TasPorts has implemented the following measures:
Prior to coming into port, ships are required to provide
information on crew and passenger health (including health monitoring),
along with standard biosecurity declaration information.
2359 hours AEST on 15 March 2020, all international vessels must not
enter any Tasmanian Port Limits until 14 days have elapsed from the time
the vessel, crew member or person on board the ship have departed the
country outside of Australia, whichever is later. This requirement
Any vessel that has left, or transited through a port
outside of Australian Territorial Waters after 2359 hours AEST on 15
March 2020; or
Any vessel arriving to Tasmania that has had a
crew member or other person on board that has travelled to or transited
through a country outside Australia after 2359 hours AEST on 15 March
All crew from international vessels arriving in
Tasmania are required to remain on-board when in port regardless of the
time since last departing a country outside of Australia. Should a crew
member be required to disembark for critical vessel duties alongside,
then they may do so but are required to practice good hand hygiene, wear
protective gear and minimise their contact with port staff. At minimum,
protective gear should include a face mask, glasses and gloves.
requires all crew arriving from international destinations to have
completed a 14 day self-isolation period in line with the Australian
Government self-isolation requirements.
TasPorts has supplied stocks of masks, glasses,
gloves, personal hand sanitiser and sanitising wet wipes to
operational staff. Whilst the risk of contraction of the virus is
low and border protection agencies have a number of robust processing
arrangements for these vessels when in port, those companies who have staff that may be required to go onboard these
vessels and/or work closely with crew from these vessels may wish to consider providing the same precautionary measures to
MEASURES CAN EVERYONE THAT INTERACTS WITH VESSELS PUT IN PLACE TO REDUCE THE
RISK OF INFECTION?
While the infection does not currently appear to spread easily
between people, the following preventative measures will also help
any risk of contracting a flu or the virus:
Where possible, stay 1 metre or more away from crew or passengers who are ill.
good respiratory (cough) etiquette.
Undertake appropriate cleaning and disinfection activities.
Use of PPE where you have concern of close contact.
The Australian Department of Health is closely monitoring this situation in collaboration with
World Health Organisation (WHO) and the states and territories,
and we will be kept informed of any changes.
TasPorts will continue
work with Government Agencies to ensure
we have the most up-to-date information and appropriate measures in place.