Resumption of Passenger Vessels at Namibian Ports

Eileen van der Schyff

The Namibian Ports Authority is very pleased to announce the resumption of Passenger vessel services at their ports, after various measures that included the temporary suspension of Passenger vessel services were in place in an effort to help curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Namport welcomed the MS Europa yesterday. The first passenger liner to call at the port in more than one and a half year. Six more Passenger liners are scheduled to dock during December. MS Europa will be docked at the Port of Walvis Bay for two days before sailing to the Port of Lüderitz, and is expected to make a return call to the Port of Walvis Bay on 5 December. The Europa Passenger liner boasts a capacity of 408 passengers, 275 crew members and 11 sporting decks. The passenger liner measures 199 meters in length.
A recent Press Release issued by the Namibian Ports Authority further reads: “After assessing the situation locally and globally and in consultation with our stakeholders such as Health and Immigration Authorities, we are pleased to inform you, the Namibian ports are once again ready and open to receive Passenger vessels subject to meeting the approved health protocols. With the above in mind, the Ports Authority has put the following extra reinforcement measures in place, not only for the safety of the passengers, but for the ease of mind of all citizens;
Covid-19 Handling Process
∙ International cruise ships will be allowed only at the ports provided “free Pratique” has been issued by the Ports Health Officer (PHO) from the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
∙ Port Health Officer (PHO) will carry out thermal screening of all the passengers and drew onboard the vessel. Alternatively, this activity can be carried out by the cruise medical personnel with the assistance of the PHO. Until such time clearance by PHO is completed, passengers will not be allowed ashore. Port/Local hospital to assist PHO by supplying additional doctors and medical staff and logistics etc.
∙ Shipping Agent/Master of Vessel to submit all documents related to crew and passengers regarding their travel to/from the Covid-19 affected countries. No sick passengers/crew allowed on board the vessel by Shipping agent/Master of Vessel.
If any passenger/crew show symptoms of the disease, disembarking of such passengers/crew is not permissible. Samples of the patient are sent for lab testing, if the outcome of the sample tests positive, the passenger is taken to an isolation facility attached to the Port and the vessel will be required to leave. If the outcome of the sample is negative, the passengers and crew may disembark the vessel. A declaration to follow this procedure must be adhered to by all vessels before entering Namibian ports.
The Namibian Ports Authority is confident that the measures put in place are adequate and will be able to give our visitors a safe and enjoyable Namibian experience. As an entity, our first priority lies with ensuring the safety of our workforce, port users and the Namibian community at large.
Namport remains appreciative that the tourism industry is a key player in Namibia’s economy and we continue to be committed to advancing the country’s drive of economic recovery.
During the month of December, the following Passenger liners are expected to call at the Port of Walvis Bay; the MSC Lirica on 09,15,20,24, and 31 December respectively and the final Passenger liner, Norwegian Jade will arrive on 31 December 2021.”

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