04-2020: Coronavirus – Guidance

10 March 2020

Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new, or novel, type of coronavirus – a large family of respiratory viruses which can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Further information can be found on the World Health Organisation: website

In response to the emerging situation and the advice given by the World Health Organisation; Officers from the Port Health teams have implemented enhanced surveillance measures for the Harwich Haven Ports.

A Port Health Emergency Plan, maintained by Port Health and its partners, is in place to respond to any significant issue.

All vessels that arriving from any foreign port (with the exception of DFDS and Stena Ferries for which separate arrangements are in place) are now required to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH) – a document from the International Health Regulations that contains information about health on board a ship.

HHA VTS will ask all vessels (except DFDS and Stena Ferries) to confirm that they have submitted an MDH and have been granted free pratique before a pilot is boarded.

Officers of the Port Health Authority are also undertaking assessment of onboard documentation and providing health protection information.

Checks so far have all been negative, however Port Health remains vigilant and are monitoring the international developments closely.

This notice supersedes PIN 01- 2020.

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