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China, Hong Kong and Taiwan – Coronavirus Disease Update

China

All ports have announced that both residents, visitors and crews from Hubei or stayed in Hubei in last 14 days are prohibited to go on board all vessels. Incoming visitors, and crew to be temperature screened before entering the city or port.

All passengers / crew should fill the Health Declaration form, both at the time of entry and departure in declaring their health situation. Symptoms of cough, fever or difficulty to breath must be reported to a customs officer then a mask must be used to avoid further spreading the virus. All passenger and crew entering China must provide recent travel history.

As per the recent port guidance, the Original Health Declaration form to be filled by all crew on board must be submitted before vessel’s departure. Due to the block of regular land transportation between cities, river port pilots (from Nanjing to Taicang within Yangtze River) will go onboard by using tug boat with higher charge incurred.

Shippers / receivers must arrange the required customs formalities for their cargo promptly. Due to the irregular working hours of customs, there may be delay in completion of formalities which will result with the delay in berthing. All offices in China will remain closed until 2400lt / 9th February 2020 as per Chinese Government announcement.

In the meantime, we recommend ship side as below and actual requirements may vary in different ports:

  • Masters are required to send their daily temperature list of all crew on board to agent 7 days before vessel’s arrival.
  • The updated temperature list must be submitted to the customs officer upon vessel arrival and before ship’s departure.
  • Crew will be quarantined and hospitalized if found to have symptoms of fever or cough or difficulty in breathing.
  • The shore pass will not be issued unless identified as necessary.
  • The issuance of boarding pass for shore side people to be onboard will be tightly restricted based on actual requirement.
  • Ship side is required to measure body temperature of all visitors and port officials on board and reserve the right to reject any individual with symptoms of fever or cough.
  • Crew change will be prohibited in most Chinese ports and you may check with shg.ops@benline.com.cn prior vessel’s arrival.

South China Ports

Crew change formalities are suspended.

Chiwan, Dongguan, Fangcheng, Guangzhou, Shekou, Xiamen, Yantian

Crew change allowed but Xiamen and Yantian have strict & complicated requirements. Guangzhou, Dongguan, Fangcheng are allowed but not suggested.

Fuzhou

Crew change formalities have already been suspended by local customs due to coronavirus pneumonia till further notice.

Hong Kong

With effective from 08/Feb/2020 0001lt, all people entering Hong Kong from the Mainland, including Hong Kong residents, Mainland residents as well as other visitors, to be subject to mandatory quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. Even if they are entering form other places, if they have visited the Mainland over the past 14 days, mandatory quarantine will still be applicable upon thier arrival. According to info from Immigration Department today, those under seamen status (i.e. those arriving with vsls and holding both valid national seaman books and passports) are not affected and may still apply for signing off (except those born/resided in Hubei or those visited Hubei past 14 days), while supernumerary and passengers are not allowed to sign off.

Taiwan

From February 6, 2020, residents of Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau are prohibited from entering Taiwan.

CECC (Central Epidemic Command Center) pointed out that several community-transmitted cases with unknown origin have occurred in Hong Kong, indicating the possibility of invisible chain of infection. On the other hand, a worker in the gambling industry of Macau has been diagnosed with 2019-nCoV infection, indicating a second wave of infection in Macau. Due to the close social and commercial exchanges between Macau and China, the travel notice level for Hong Kong and Macau was raised to Level 2: Alert on February 5. CECC urges travelers visiting the areas to reinforce prevention measures. Furthermore, CECC will closely monitor the development of disease outbreak and adjust endemic area and the level of travel notices accordingly.

Requirements for entry are the following:

  • From February 6, Taiwan residents with a history of travel to Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau are required to be under home quarantine for 14 days after entering Taiwan. Travelers who were permitted to visit Hong Kong and Macau are required to also conduct self-health management for 14 days.
  • Entry of Mainland China residents will be suspended.
  • Hong Kong and Macau residents are required to be under home quarantine for 14 days after entering Taiwan.
  • From February 7, 2020, foreign nationals who have visited or resided in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau over the past 14 days before they arrive in Taiwan will be prohibited from entering. Even if there are special reasons, visa applications will not be accepted by our overseas offices.
  • Foreign nationals possessing a valid Taiwan Resident Certificate who have visited or resided in China, Hong Kong and Macau in the previous 14 days are required to be under home quarantine for 14 days and residence restricted after entering Taiwan.

In view of the occurrence of several cases of cruise passengers or crew members infected with the new coronavirus, considering that international cruises are areas with dense populations and frequent human interactions, the CECC announced that international cruise ships will be prohibited from berthing from now on.

With effect on February 11, all travelers arriving from areas outside China, Hong Kong and Macau will be required to complete a health declaration form. It must accurately state their travel and contact history regarding whether they have visited China, Hong Kong and Macau over the past 14 days before entry. If travelers provide inaccurate information or refuse, evade or interfere with the provision of such information, violators will be fined up to NT$ 150,000 according to relevant laws.

From February 12, mainland Chinese who are in Taiwan for any of the following reasons can apply for an extension to stay.

  • Performance of business
  • Company internal transfers
  • Investment management
  • On-site services
  • Reunions and short-term visits

With effect on February 16, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that a community monitoring program will be strengthened specifically targeting the following:

  • Foreign travel history within 14 days (including Singapore, Thailand, Japan and other countries with confirmed cases) or had contact with a person with fever or respiratory symptoms from abroad, and a physician cases of fever or respiratory symptoms with high suspicion of COVID-19 infection.
  • People with fever / respiratory symptoms
  • Antibiotic treatment did not improve for 3 days and there was no clear cause or case of cluster or case of medical staff of pneumonia

Those who have a history of travel (including transit) to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand and show symptoms through infared scanning or health declaration will be sent to the hospital for tests. Individual will be isolated while waiting for release of test results. Asymptomatic individuals will be allowed to enter.

Xiamen

All those entering Xiamen must register and declare their health conditions in advance using the “i XIAMEN” WeChat Subscription.  All crew signing on at Xiamen port must comply with this declaration and cooperate with the terminal’s basic body and mask wearing checks.