Restrictions have been placed on ships entering Queensland waters from China to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) and Queensland’s Vessel Traffic Services have been monitoring all foreign trading ships arriving at Queensland ports.
All foreign trading ships scheduled to arrive at Queensland ports are required to report if any crew member or passenger:
- has visited Hubei Province, China within the past 14 days
- has visited mainland China since 1 February 2020
- is showing any of the Novel Coronavirus symptoms.
Any crew member identified as having visited Hubei Province, China within the past 14 days or having visited mainland China since 1 February will be asked report to the Captain and to self-isolate on board the vessel for the period of their stay in the Australian port or for a period that spans 14 days since leaving the province or mainland China (whichever is shortest).
Gladstone Ports Corporation, which operates the Port of Bundaberg, said it's continuing to monitor the situation and liaising with state and federal agencies.
“The immediate threat of Coronavirus via Queensland Ports is considered relatively low based on the known incubation period of the virus and the time vessels spend at sea before they arrive in Australian waters,” GPC said in a statement.
“However, the safety and well-being of our maritime industry personnel will continue to be of paramount priority.”
CFMEU Mining and Energy has welcomed the tighter restrictions.
“With the focus on air travel, the ports up and down our coast had been left exposed,” union vice-president Shane Brunker said.
“The announcement that any ship which has departed or transited through mainland China must not enter a Queensland pilotage area for 14 days is welcome news.
“It is a sensible measure in the circumstances. It gives Australian port workers the confidence that the situation is being taken seriously and it means that Australian and overseas crew won’t face restrictions coming ashore, because they will have finished their period of quarantine.”
On Saturday, Bundaberg Now reported that technology shipments from China have also been delayed.