Croatian Institute of Public Health: Recommendations for Stays on Vessels

Lauren Simmonds

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic
Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

As Morski writes on the 20th of June, 2020, the recommendations provided by the Croatian Institute of Public Health relate to the implementation of the necessary measures when travelling on yachts, boats and other vessels, and have been given in order to protect the crew and their passengers with respect to adhering to the measure of maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres.

Recommendations for the implementation of general hygiene measures:

It is necessary to place a clear notice of the obligation to comply with general hygiene measures and physical distance measures for all passengers entering a vessel, before or immediately after entry, in a visible place as well as in the cabins.

Passenger registration:

Passengers should be encouraged to use as many online and mobile applications as possible for their registration and booking so as to reduce the need for physical contact.

Hand disinfection:

At the entrance to the vessels and at the entrances to saloons, the wheelhouse and crew cabins, it is necessary to have dispensers with disinfectant (based either on alcohol or another agent safe for use on human skin with its declared virucidal action and manufacturer, and in a concentration of no less than 70 percent) with a notice of the obligation for passengers to disinfect their hands on arrival. These dispensers should be placed in the corridors where the accommodation units are located, such as near the stairs, at the main guest door and at the entrance to the wheelhouse and crew cabins.

Physical distance:

It is necessary to follow the rules of maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres.

Cleaning and maintenance:

Surfaces that are frequently touched, such as handles, handrails, light switches etc, need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly. The proper instructions for cleaning and disinfection are available here.

The need for additional disinfection measures may arise in the case of the transport of persons suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus or suffering from any highly contagious viral disease. The proper recommendations are available via this link from the Croatian Institute of Public Health.

Hygiene and ventilation of the passenger compartment:

The interior of the passenger compartment must be regularly cleaned and disinfected after each voyage, during anchoring or docking in a port. Surfaces that are touched often, such as the head and armrests, light switches, window panes and door handles, should be frequently wiped down with disinfectant. The interior must be regularly ventilated when sailing, anchoring or docking in a port. The use of air conditioners and heating should be avoided.

Isolating the captain’s seat:

If it doesn’t already exist, the Croatian Institute of Public Health has recommended to set up a physical barrier between the captain’s seat and the passengers (made of Plexiglas or something similar), and if that isn’t possible, then there will be a need to instruct passengers to respect the rules of physical distance.

Physical distance between places for sitting and lying down:

Separate the deckchairs in such a way so as to ensure physical separation and disinfect the deckchairs several times per day, after a certain passenger is no longer using a deckchair and when another passenger wants to use it. If the spaces on the vessel provide for other seats, they should also be arranged at a distance of 1.5 metres.

Air conditioners, heating and ventilation (HVAC):

When using ventilation and air conditioning systems, pay special attention to monitoring the condition of the filter and maintaining the correct condition of the air exchange rate indoors. The proper functioning of ventilation and air exchange equipment should be checked according to common protocols. Ventilation with an increased percentage of outdoor air circulating within the system and a recirculation-free mode are recommended to encourage air changes that reduce the concentration of potentially infectious pathogens.

Water supply:

The functioning of water-related infrastructure for human consumption should be carried out in the usual way.

Sanitary facilities:

It is necessary to ensure the more frequent cleaning, disinfection and, if possible, ventilation of sanitary facilities. Passengers need to be provided with the means for proper hand hygiene and disinfection.

Food and beverage service areas and trade facilities on yachts and other vessels:

Shops and catering facilities on yachts and boats should operate in accordance with the decisions of the Civil Protection Headquarters.

The instructions for the operation of stores are available here.
The instructions for catering facilities are available here.

Staff awareness:

Before starting work, the crew and staff must be educated about all the measures that are being implemented by the Croatian Institute of Public Health.

Reduced crew contact with passengers:

Vessel crew members should avoid close contact with passengers, and when communicating with them and other staff, it is necessary to maintain an appropriate distance (1.5 metres). After handling luggage, it is necessary to disinfect your hands.

Face masks:

Inside enclosed spaces of the vessel, it has been recommended that staff wear medical masks or face masks that cover their mouths and noses. Protective masks and disinfectants for employees must be provided by the employer.

Crew health monitoring by daily temperature measurement:

Before starting work, all crew members must measure their temperatures in the morning and cannot start working if it is higher than 37.2 ° C and/or they have respiratory problems. In case of the development of a fever and/or respiratory problems with or without a fever, employees need to contact their employer and their competent family doctor by phone. They cannot start working until the cause of their respiratory issues or fever is determined.

Passenger records:

The Croatian Institute of Public Health has recommended that staff keep records of passenger contacts and passenger entries and exits, so that in case of the detection of a sick person on board, territorially competent epidemiologists can identify and inform the patient’s contacts as soon as possible and implement the proper measures to prevent the further spread of the new coronavirus infection.

Procedures in case of symptoms indicative of the new coronavirus:

Crew/staff must advise a person displaying symptoms of respiratory disease or fever to stay in their cabins, with the door closed; offer them a surgical mask and tissues in sufficient quantity and instruct them not to leave the room and to contact members of staff by phone if necessary.

Guests who are part of the same group or the same family must also stay in their cabins until returning to the nearest port.

Staff are advised not to enter a cabin where a person suspected of having a SARS-CoV-2 infection is staying, and other guests should be instructed that their bed linen replacement and cabin cleaning will not take place at normal intervals and in the usual manner. In such cases, each guest must maintain the cleanliness of his or her living space on his or her own.

For more on coronavirus and the Croatian Institute of Public Health, follow our dedicated section.


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