Ferry industry organisation, Interferry has issued a ‘Guidance on Reopening Passenger Ferry Services’.
Much of the world’s passenger ferry services have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shipping companies are required to assess all identified risks to the safety of ships and personnel and establish necessary safeguards and procedures in a documented Safety Management System (SMS).
As part of the SMS, shipping companies should develop detailed plans and procedures for the different aspects and risks associated with COVID-19 on their ship operations.
As passenger ferry services are highly dependent on shore facilities, whether under the ferry operator’s control or not, also need to be addressed.
Interferry explained that the use and implementation of the guidance by operators, governments and relevant national authorities should be temporary and time limited to the pandemic.
Taking the measures identified and developed by Interferry members, this guidance was issued as a source of information and inspiration for ferry operators, terminals, authorities and any other entity relating to mitigation of health risks in relation to passenger ferry services.
The measures come in part from advice by sanitation, medical experts and governmental directives, but are by and large developed through ferry operators’ experiences of sanitation, hygiene and communicable diseases, the organisation said.
Interferry warned that it was not scientifically vetted, and owners and operators would still need to assess the impact of applicable health and safety directives and guidance when determining their appropriate mitigation strategies.
With hundreds of possible measures to implement, the guide’s main focus was to give a high-level overview through a flowchart – see www.interferry.com – for details.
It divides passenger ferry services into separate activities and suggests safeguards for each. The flowchart also highlights measures for which the operator is dependent on the participation or leadership of other stakeholders or agencies. In the Appendix, all possible measures that have been identified are listed.
Interferry also recommended operators to review the ‘Reopening Guidelines’ published by the Passenger Vessel Association.