Maritime Authority cuts seafaring passenger loads in half to curtail spread of COVID-19

Photo: Rove.me

The Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), in monitoring the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), has implemented a range of measures to protect seafarers and passengers alike.

In a statement on Thursday (March 19), the MAJ as Jamaica’s marine administration, said it is committed to its mission to promote high standards of maritime competence, safety, security and protection of the marine environment.

“We ask watersports operators to have their vessels ready for inspection at the scheduled times and to keep visitors and onlookers away from the inspection site while our inspector is present,” the statement noted.

“Passenger carrying vessels must observe the following rules: half of the present assigned capacity to a maximum of twenty persons. For small passenger vessel operators particularly, this means that the number of persons permitted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica as shown on the Safety Certificate, must be cut in half,” the MAJ said.

The MAJ further explained that it will remain guided by protocols stipulated by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Maritime Organisation.

The agency assured the island that the health and safety of the wider public and its cadre of staff remains a top priority.

For those who can, the MAJ has urged customers to access its services online, visitors who do choose to come to its offices, however, will be asked to exercise care when interacting with staff, and to adhere to the steps we have implemented, to help protect against COVID-19.

“We encourage those of our seafarers who can, to utilize our online platforms. However, we will facilitate walk-in customers during our regular opening hours of 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday,” the agency explained.

“For those who visit our offices, we ask that they maintain the appropriate social distancing. The MAJ remains steadfast in its support of Jamaica’s efforts to curtail the local spread of COVID-19. Let us all do our best to remain healthy as we support each other in this public health fight,” the MAJ said in its statement.