28 Jun The Port of Cadiz restarts cruise ship traffic on Monday after the stop due to the pandemic
The Port Authority guarantees the prevention of COVID-19 at cruise ship calls with a protocol involving operators, passengers and crew, among others.
The Port of Cadiz will receive next Monday 21st June the first cruise ship since the COVID-19 pandemic banned the berthing of this type of vessel in all the ports of the country in March 2020.
The Mein Schiff 2 is scheduled to arrive at 8 o’clock in the morning from Cartagena and will leave at 7 o’clock in the evening for Malaga. It has 1,800 passengers and 600 crew on board.
In order to guarantee the prevention of COVID-19 transmission, the Bay of Cadiz Port Authority has set up a protocol, which is drawn up in accordance with the guidelines issued by the health authorities, involving operators, passengers and crew, among others.
As a general rule, the necessary measures will be applied to prevent the embarkation of infected persons, to reduce the probability of transmission on board, to detect cases early and handle them appropriately until they disembark, and to identify and quarantine their close contacts.
At the same time, measures are taken to limit contact between people by establishing groups of passengers and crew, with different meal, embarkation and disembarkation times, as well as participation in ship activities, so that there is as little interaction as possible between the groups.
The protocol requires the cruise operator (shipowner or ship operator) to have a procedure for the prevention and mitigation of health risks arising from COVID-19, specifying the measures taken.
The procedure must be accompanied by the Responsible Declaration and the operator must send it both to Puertos del Estado and to the Port Authority, which in turn will send it to Sanidad Exterior in Cádiz, Capitanía Marítima and Delegación Territorial de Salud y Familia de la Junta de Andalucía.
Among other measures, shipping companies will have to designate a person on board as the person directly responsible for applying the contents of the procedure, limit capacity to 70-75 percent and ensure a minimum safety crew on board in the event of an outbreak.
Ships must also have the capacity to carry out on-board diagnostic tests, as well as medical facilities with sufficient capacity and staffing to deal with possible contagions and isolation areas, in addition to PPE, cleaning and disinfection procedures and ventilation systems in interior spaces to ensure the healthiness of the air.
The protocol also includes carrying out RT-PCR or antigen testing for SARS-COV-2 on the third or fourth day of the cruise for all passengers.
In relation to cruise passengers, the protocol requires them to provide health screening information through the EU Digital Passenger Locator Form (dPLF) application developed by the EU Joint Action on Port of Entry Preparedness and Response HEALTHY GATEWAYS, which generates a QR code, facilitating screening.
Passengers should wear face masks, ensure social distance and wash their hands, and avoid crowds.
Prevention measures are also proposed for the crew, such as RT-PCR or equivalent molecular test, which must be negative in order to be able to board.
With regard to embarkation and disembarkation operations, the operator will check the temperature, as well as the health documentation and carry out a visual check for signs compatible with the disease. Suspected cases will be discriminated.
To ensure social distance and avoid crowds at the terminals, staggered exits and entrances are established, as well as the signalling of people flow circuits.
All passengers aged 12 years and over will be required to undergo an RT-PCR or equivalent test within 72 hours prior to boarding or a rapid antigen test on the same day and those who have been vaccinated with the full vaccination schedule will be required to bring their vaccination certificate and will have it available for presentation if required.
The Port Authority considers that the protocol guarantees the safety of both visitors and citizens of Cadiz and will ensure strict compliance with it.
At present, the Port of Cadiz has planned 4 stopovers in July, 10 in August, 32 in September, 57 in October, 41 in November and 17 in December.
If confirmed, all of them will have to be subject to the protocol and comply with the conditions established by the regulations, both for national and international cruises at any given time.