South Africa’s Transport Minister Fikile Mbalul has imposed a ban on cruise ships starting today amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The country’s Transnet National Ports Authority further confirms that it crew changes are now prohibited across all eight commercial ports in South Africa.
The Transport Minister’s advises that South African citizens and permanent residents to refrain from use of sea travel. Specifically, the new ban prohibits passenger embarkation and disembarkation at all sea ports except under certain circumstances. Namely, at South Africa’s six cruise ports (Durban, Richards Bay, Cape Town, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, Ngqura and East London), ships will “only be permitted to allow disembarkation of a returning South African citizen and/or a permanent resident, or embarkation of a departing foreign national,” TNPA said.
Earlier this week, South Africa’s Department of Health advised TNPA that “all sea cruises undertaken by cruise liner vessels into and out of any seaport within South Africa must be terminated until further notice.”
TNPA however stresses that no South African port has been closed in its entirety and commercial cargo operations will continue at all ports.
“The Ministerial Regulations set out further protocols for provision of improved access and hygiene, sterilization control on ships, sea ports and in licensed sea port operations, including that all persons entering the ports shall be screened for COVID-19,” TNPA said in statement.
TNPA is a government organization responsible for managing and governing South Africa’s eight commercial ports.