Vessels entering Irish ports must submit a declaration of health before docking

Marine vessels will be refused permission to dock in Irish ports until they have submitted a declaration of health as part of efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

New rules from the Department of Transport mean all ships or their agents must supply a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDoH) to port companies when arriving into Cork, Shannon, Dublin and other ports.

An aerial view of Cork Harbour. File photo.
An aerial view of Cork Harbour. File photo.

The document will list all other ports the vessel has stopped in the previous 30 days along with the history of the crew.

In a notice to all mariners, the Cork Harbour Master Paul O'Regan said that prior to arrival and on initial VHF contact with Cork Harbour Radio, each vessel shall confirm verbally that the MDoH has been submitted as required.

If the document has not been submitted then vessels will not be allowed to dock and will instead be directed to an anchorage until the MDoH is submitted and reviewed.

Other measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus include regulations to protect maritime pilots when they board inbound and outbound vessels.

These include no physical contact with the pilot such as handshaking and keeping a recommended one-metre personal space during the pilotage transit.

Ships are also asked to ensure bridge surfaces, navigation equipment and VHF radios are cleaned with an appropriate disinfectant prior to the vessel arrival at the pilot boarding station.

Cruise liners entering Cork Harbour have already been issued with new guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus.

Local tourism ambassadors who regularly board cruise liners when they dock in Cobh will not board vessels until further notice. Tourism information will instead be emailed to the vessel directly.

Tour operators bringing cruise passengers to various attractions in the region are also asked to ensure all buses are sanitized prior to passengers boarding for day trips.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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