Standards for the Development of a Ship-to-Shore Checklist Respecting Procedures at Ports

Objective

To provide guidance on the minimal requirements of a checklist, to be developed primarily by the Authorized Representative of a cruise ship, with input from the Canadian ports where the ship intends to visit, respecting procedures to be followed when the cruise ship is at a Canadian port. The contents of each checklist may include additional items to the ones listed below based on specific operations and circumstances. 

The Authorized Representative of a cruise ship certified to carry more than 100 persons with overnight accommodations, before commencing operations at their first port of call in Canada or first entering Canadian waters, must attest to the Minister that they have developed a checklist and that it has been co-signed with the port authorities where the cruise ship is scheduled to call and will be shared with public health authorities upon request. In the case of small or remote ports, or Occasional Use Marine Facilities (OUMFs), a Marine Facility Security Officer (MFSO) or designated community official may act as a stand-in for a port authority representative.

This attestation can be completed via the electronic form. The link to this form is available in the Measures to Support Safe Cruise Travel in Canada - SSB No.: 18/2021.

Cruise lines may develop a single checklist for each of their vessels of similar class and characteristics to be co-signed with each port to be visited. Review or augmentation of the checklist may be required should the situation with COVID-19 worsen (i.e., significant increase in severe outcomes and hospitalizations, the spread of new variants of concern, the presence other significant strains on local health capacity, etc.).

Should a cruise ship need to deviate from its planned itinerary for any reason (i.e., weather, MEDEVAC, etc.) from a port that has been provided the checklist to a port who has not, the cruise line will engage with the port and review/sign a checklist as soon as practicable.

Checklist components

COVID-19 Management Plan

The Plan, which details the ship-side precautions, procedures, and protocols, has been developed by the cruise operator and will be shared with the Minister, port representatives, and public health authorities upon request.

Suspected/confirmed cases of COVID-19

Authorized Representatives and Port Authorities have coordinated to harmonize shore-side procedures with the ship-side Outbreak Management Plan (found within the COVID-19 Management Plan) to manage the disembarkation, transportation, and isolation/eventual repatriation of COVID-19 positive individuals. This includes the identification of non-medical resources, such as hotels for isolation and non-ambulance, private transportation. COVID-19 positive individuals must have access to the necessities of life, including water, food, medication and heat without leaving their place of isolation.

The Authorized Representatives has confirmed that any port that is to be visited by a cruise ship has developed a plan, procedures and has facilities in place to manage any sick individuals that may be required to disembark a vessel. For ports that have limited facilities, alternative plans to manage these situations have been put in place. Please see the “Remote Communities” section for further guidance.

Any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 on board the cruise vessel will be reported to the port and local public health authorities

Mask use

Authorized Representatives have ensured that passengers and crew are aware of the local regulations on mask use at each port.

Authorized Representatives have ensured that masks are available and easily accessible to all persons on board the vessel, including crew and passengers.

Authorized Representatives have ensured that health promotion resources and educational material regarding mask use are available and posted throughout the ship.

Authorized Representatives have confirmed that the port will make masks available and easily accessible to shoreside personnel, if needed.

Authorized Representatives have confirmed that the port will make health promotion resources and educational material regarding mask use available and post it at the terminal in accordance with local public health requirements.

Physical distancing

Authorized Representatives are aware of local public health requirements pertaining to physical distancing for the ports and areas they are visiting and have communicated these requirements to crew and passengers.

Authorized Representatives have ensured that health promotion resources and educational material regarding physical distancing are available and posted throughout the ship.

Authorized Representatives have confirmed that the port will make health promotion resources and educational material regarding physical distancing available and post it at the terminal in accordance with local public health requirements.

Hygiene measures

Authorized Representatives have confirmed that the port will provide hand washing facilities or Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer (ABHS), and health promotion material (e.g. posters, videos, etc) that are visible and legible throughout the boarding and disembarkation process. Promotion material explains how to perform, and how often to perform, effective hand hygiene.

Authorized Representatives have provided resources and materials promoting the application and importance of respiratory etiquette and it is available throughout the ship. Authorized Representatives have confirmed that the port will provide similar resources and materials in the terminal.

Cleaning and disinfection

Routine cleaning and disinfection practices are maintained, and the appropriate products and techniques are used in order to help limit the transfer of microorganisms. Frequently touched areas are targeted for consistent and thorough cleaning and disinfection.

Only disinfectants with a government regulatory health authority, i.e. in the country of homeport of the vessel, or in Canada with a Drug Identification Number (DIN), or Natural Product Number (NPN) etc. are to be used.

Staff education and training

The Authorized Representative has ensured that the crew are aware of any Canadian, Provincial, Territorial or Municipal preventive measures or laws established by public health authorities regarding COVID-19 in the port’s jurisdiction and are able to inform and assist passengers to follow all requirements and guidance. The Authorized Representative has confirmed that port staff also have understanding and are able to provide knowledge about the local requirements to passengers and crew.

The Authorized Representative has trained the crew on what to do if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 and have appropriate sick leave policies to encourage staying away when sick. The Authorized Representative has confirmed that port staff have similar training and policies.

Local public health requirements

Authorized Representatives have been made aware of, and have committed to adhere to, the heath guidelines and requirements specific to the port of call.

Remote communities

Understanding that small and remote communities do not have the capacity or infrastructure to ensure many of the shore-side requirements of this checklist, if cruise vessels intend to visit these communities, the Authorized Representative must fulfill all responsibilities within their capacity and have shared their COVID-19 Management Plan with the responsible community officials in advance. Alternative procedures and plans should be developed with community representatives to ensure mutual understanding of responsibilities and coordination to eliminate or mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Public Health Contacts

 Authorized Representatives can obtain the contact information for Provincial/Territorial public health representatives to be contacted at each port should they need assistance with COVID-19 case management during a scheduled to visit. This information can be obtained by contacting marinesafety-securitemaritime@tc.gc.ca.