[Answer] How To Deal With Ship Visitors in Times of COVID19?


Safety and security are of utmost appearance in the time of a pandemic where every physical contact can lead to a potential danger of life, particularly, if you are dealing with people in closed quarters like that of a ship. Keep this in mind, the North P&I Club has formulated a guideline on dealing with ship visitors in times of coronavirus.

Let us take a look at it.

Protecting the Seafarers

But first let us take a look why is it crucial

Social distancing and restricted measures have been implemented to the whole shipping industry, aiming to minimize the virus’ spread and to fully protect the seafarers and those employed. Thus, North P&I Club launched an information sheet on how to deal with ship visitors and keep the social distances, reports Safety4Sea.

To remind, COVID-19 can be transmitted primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.


Except the usual and already known tips of how to stay protected, the Club recommends

  • To avoid inhalation, social distancing is advised – a distance of at least 1 metre is recommended by the WHO.
  • Better hygiene, such as frequent and thorough hand washing, keeping contact surfaces clean, and less face-touching can help prevent picking up the infection via touching a surface.

Many ports have taken steps to reduce physical contact, but port officials, stevedores,
bunker suppliers and other visitors will inevitably visit the ship. Here are some helpful
hints on dealing with visitors and how to stay safe.

Precautions If Visitors Boarding Vessels

In addition, when you are aware that visitors will board the vessel, you may follow the steps below to ensure that you are fully prepared and safe:

  • Wipe down with an anti-bacterial solution the areas where the visitor(s) will access and objects they are likely to touch (e.g. sanitise the bridge contact surfaces prior to pilot embarkation).
  • Restrict access into the ship’s accommodation – keeps doors locked and post signs warning of no entry
  • If you have alcohol hand gel on board, make it ready for use upon entry onto the shipand around the vessel.
  • Where possible, have designated toilet and handwashing facilities for visitors – make sure they are well-stocked with soap.
  • Try to prepare and complete any necessary documents digitally – avoid handling paper and laminated documents as far as possible.
  • Have PPE readily available, such as disposable gloves, for use in unavoidable close contact situations.

Guarding the Ship

  • Maintain effective ship and gangway security and ensure unauthorised personnel do
    not board the vessel.
  • If someone trying to board the vessel exhibits symptoms – refuse access and report it.
    Continue to sanitise contact areas throughout the vessel’s stay in port.

How To Deal With Ship Visitors?


  • No handshakes and no physical contact!
  • Try to maintain your distance from visitors – official guidance on minimum distance
    varies from 1 metre (3 feet) to 2 metres (6 feet).


  • Where possible, hold your conversations and meetings with visitors on the open
    deck or open bridge wings.
  • If visitors must be inside, limit the number of crew in the vicinity to the
    absolute minimum.

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Source: North PI Club



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