Additional safety measures implemented at Jamaica’s ports

Marella Cruise Line’s Discovery II at Port Royal on Monday, January 20.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) phenomenon, the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) has proactively introduced additional safety measures and systems to ensure the protection of employees, stakeholders and users of the seaports in general.

The PAJ continues to be vigilant and unyielding in its efforts to prevent the spread of any communicable disease while it consistently communicates with and sensitises its stakeholders and the public on initiatives being introduced for their protection, as well as to enhance safety systems at Jamaica’s seaports.

These supplementary safety measures and protocols are aimed at mitigating against a widespread outbreak from the seaside and to facilitate plans designed to contain and reduce the adverse impacts of the coronavirus in the event it is detected in Jamaica.

Safety measures and protocols

Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness Christopher Tufton (left) tests a handheld thermal scanner on Public Health Nurse, Deborah Udo Udo, during a tour of the isolation unit at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston recently.

The following auxiliary safety measures and protocols were implemented since February, 2020:

  • Specialized information on the management of COVID-19 garnered from the World Health Organization (WHO), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW) was disseminated to all ports
  • All Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) were directed to host ongoing sensitisation sessions with their staff and all stakeholders that interface with ship personnel and passengers
  • All ports are required to provide timely updates on the progress and issues that may arise from their sensitisation training sessions, including those with the MoHW. The PAJ is monitoring and ensuring that these sessions are being conducted on an ongoing basis.
  • New updates and developments from the WHO, PAHO and MoHW are disseminated to ports as they are received
  • The PAJ is currently seeking to procure and install hand sanitisation dispensers and handwashing station at all of its ports.

Heat-sensing scanners

There are existing border protection mechanisms and systems to mitigate against the spread of infectious diseases.

Visitors walking after arriving in Port Royal recently.

The PAJ is also actively pursuing the procurement of heat-sensing scanners as an additional measure for the detection of persons with abnormal temperatures. Additionally, the Authority is also in the process of establishing isolation rooms at its ports for quarantine purposes should the need arise.

The PAJ seeks to assure employees, stakeholders and the public that their safety and security are of utmost importance and systems are in place to ensure compliance with all measures. Generally, all ships that are fully compliant with the MoHW protocols and have fulfilled the requirements are granted access to berth at our ports.

The PAJ has been collaborating with the MoHW, ensuring that cruise and cargo lines are aware of the requirements to enter Jamaican ports, sensitising them to the information required ahead of time, while ensuring the information is provided on arrival to allow the professionals at the MoHW to effectively and efficiently make decisions. All ships are required to comply with the MoHW decisions.