European Response to Ebola Threat
Several European countries have introduced measures in response to the continuing outbreak of Ebola virus in some West African countries and isolated cases elswehere, as follows:
All vessels must now submit their Health Maritime Declaration prior to arrival at Spanish ports.
Health Authorities will take all necessary precautions (inspections, shore leave prohibition, etc.) only for vessels coming from affected countries (Guinea Konacry, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria) or that have visited any of these countries lately.
Every Master must report any illness symptoms amongst his crew. Any ill crew member must complete a form indicating (among other information) the last countries he has visited.
Vessels should complete and deliver the Maritime Declaration of Health. Measures taken on board should also be noted on the ship sanitation control certificate.
In case of a suspected case of Ebola Virus onboard a ship, immediate expert medical opinion should be sought and the event must be reported as soon as possible to the next port of call.
Depending on the situation, the competent authority may need to arrange medical evacuation or special arrangements for disembarkation and hospitalization of the patient and laboratory diagnosis. Passengers, crew members and cleaning staff who have been identified through contact tracing should be assessed for their specific level of exposure. Passive self-monitoring of temperature (e.g. monitoring temperature only if feeling feverish) and symptoms or active self-monitoring (e.g. by regular temperature measurement twice daily) for those at higher risk level should be continued for 21 days.
Port authorities cannot advise the delays but crew will be medically checked and ship will be disinfected. While waiting for outcome of the medical check all crew will stay in quarantine in the hospital.
Le Havre - Maritime Health Declaration/ISPS must be sent to the Agent before ship’s arrival and to be examined by Le Havre port Authority. For vessels that have touched a port from West Africa in the past 30 days, waste have to be landed and incinerated via a specialized local waste collector (special procedure to be established). If a possible Ebola case is reported/suspected, any decisions/actions will be taken by port authorities on a case–by–case basis (to quarantine).
Rouen – According to the latest information from Rouen port authorities, Maritime Declaration of Health will only be requested from vessels coming from ports of West Africa. At this stage, no other restrictions or requests for the port of Rouen.
Brest - Health Maritime Declaration will systematically be requested by Harbour Master from vessels arriving from ports from West Africa in addition to usual pre-arrival requirements prior to entrance in port (ISPS, crew list etc)
Dunkirk – As per available information there are no special restrictions imposed at Dunkirk.
The Harbour Master will take a special care of Free-Pratique request before arrival in port, for vessels arriving from West Africa.
Montoir/Donges/St Nazaire - Vessels must complete and submit the Maritime Declaration of Health and the last ten ports of call document 48 hours before arrival on roads. If the Maritime Declaration of Health is OK and the Master has nothing to report, the vessel will automatically be authorized to enter the port. If, however, the Master declares a health problem onboard, a special procedure will apply and the vessel will not be authorized to immediately enter the post. Ports authorities, the French army and medical shipping departments will diagnose the sick individual and a special process will be engaged.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is monitoring vessels that have visited ports in countries where the Ebola virus is present which intend to transit through UK waters or stop at UK ports. Every Vessel of Interest will be contacted by the Coastguard, as it enters UK AIS coverage to determine the vessel's health status. If a VOI seeks Radio Medical Advice through the Coastguard, or requires a Search & Rescue response, or a medical evacuation, HM Coastguard will notify SAR units before a response can be undertaken so that they can prepare for and manage the situation more cautiously if required.
In case of a suspected case of Ebola, the vessel will be asked to divert to the nearest suitable port where the casualty can be taken off the ship by land-based medical services in a controlled manner.
Further information about measures being put in place elsewhere in Europe will be provided as it becomes available.
For information about operations in Europe contact the GAC UK Hub Agency Centre at email@example.com