In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, the port authority of Zeebrugge, Belgium, is enacting a number of measures.
In a statement released on 16 March the port authority said, at this point, all critical functions and core processes are guaranteed.
The continuous shifts in the Port of Zeebrugge are secured. The shipping movements and operations are functioning on maximum capacity, as long as the situation allows. Administrative personnel have asked to be flexible in fulfilling their duties.
The port authority has taken a number of measures and continues to follow the advisements of the World Health Organization, the Federal Department of Health, the EU and the Federal Department of Mobility.
In addition, the port’s events and organised visits have been postponed or cancelled. Business trips abroad are cancelled until further notice.
Physical meetings are being discouraged and replaced by conference calls as much as possible.
All departments of the port authority are encouraged to work from home if possible. The attendance on all departments is however guaranteed. If working from home is impossible, the port authority personnel is spread throughout the company’s offices both in time and space.
The guidelines concerning hygiene within the port authority are intensified and communicated clearly.
The maintenance personnel and cleaning staff are being instructed to give extra attention to door handles, restrooms and 24-hour working stations.
The work schedules of the continuous services are being adjusted in order to reduce the risk of infections. The aforementioned guidelines concerning hygiene are obviously applied, with extra attention for the disinfection of workstations before and after a change in shifts.
A Maritime Declaration of Health from all ships entering the Port of Zeebrugge is mandatory, as always. The Federal Public Department of Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment ‘Saniport’ screens these documents and will take further action if necessary.
The National Safety Council has reported that cruise ships are allowed to call on the Port of Zeebrugge, but passengers and crew members are not allowed to leave the ship.
The impact of these preventative measures on our departments will be monitored daily and all partners will be informed continuously, the statement said.