This guideline is supplementary to the Public Health (COVID-19 Maritime Quarantine) Order 2021.

Last updated: 09 June 2021
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Persons to whom this guideline applies

All international vessels and persons entering NSW from an overseas location are considered potentially infectious, regardless of how long they have been at sea. This Guideline provides information on the recommended level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission between overseas vessels and seaport workers.

It is the responsibility of the operator of a vessel and the employer of persons staffed at the NSW port to ensure they understand the required PPE and that their staff are provided with the appropriate PPE based on their role and tasks. They must also provide the adequate training and/or information on PPE usage to ensure their staff are informed of the correct donning and doffing procedures.  Regular refresher training is strongly advised.

It is the responsibility of all persons that are required to board and/or disembark a vessel to understand the level of appropriate PPE required based on their role and tasks.

When the recommendations in the use of PPE are adapted to meet safety standards, it is imperative that adequate distance from crew is kept and donning of recommended PPE occurs as soon as the activities to be undertaken can be done in a way that worker safety is not compromised.  Hand washing or regular use of alcohol-based hand-rub must be undertaken when on a vessel and on departing the vessel.

Persons required to disembark a vessel (international crew)

Persons permitted to disembark a vessel to undertake an essential task must, among other things, comply with these Guidelines in relation to the wearing of PPE. While undertaking an essential task they are required, at a minimum, to wear the following PPE:

  • Surgical mask (disposable)
  • Gloves

Persons disembarking a vessel must, where reasonably practical, maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from NSW based port workers.

Persons entering a NSW Port

Under the Order certain persons are permitted to board, and then subsequently disembark a vessel in order to undertake essential tasks. Persons boarding the vessel under the Order must comply with these Guidelines in relation to the use of PPE.

Other persons who have direct or indirect contact with international crew or who have direct contact with items handled by international crew should comply with these guidelines.

Table 1 – The level of PPE required by maritime workers based on roles at Maritime Ports

How to use this table

  1. Identify your role and the risk category, if your role is not listed in Table 1 please refer to Table 2
  2. Identify the recommended level of PPE required for your role. Noting that if the recommended level of PPE may compromise the safety of your work it should not be used.  In this circumstance, it is most important to maintain a safe distance from crew.
Category - High Risk Recommended PPE Examples of roles
A person having direct contact with international crew within 1.5m distance.
  • Surgical mask (disposable)
  • Eye protection
  • Long sleeved gown (disposable) if likely to be in physical contact
  • Gloves
  • Marine Pilots
  • Surveyors
  • Terminal staff
  • Ships vetting inspector
  • Connection staff (eg. connecting hosing, water, fuel)
  • Emergency staff
  • Biosecurity Officers
  • Transport drivers (eg. drivers transporting individuals to and from quarantine facilities)
  • Australian Border Force
  • Police Officers
  • Ship cleaning and maintenance staff
Category - Moderate Risk Recommended PPE Examples of roles
A person having contact with crew but can maintain a distance of at least 1.5m at all times. Includes anyone boarding a vessel.
  • Surgical mask (disposable)
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection if possibility of close proximity, including outdoor environment
  • Stevedores
  • AMSA Inspectors
  • Port Captains and Shore Officers
  • Work, Health and Safety Officers
  • Terminal staff (eg. checking manifold, moorings, waterside activities)
Category - Low Risk Recommended PPE Examples of roles
A person having no direct or indirect contact with international crew but may have direct contact with items handled by international persons
  • Surgical mask (disposable)
  • Gloves
  • Providores (receiving or loading cargo)
  • Office based staff

Table 2 - Recommended PPE based on risk category

Should the recommended PPE interfere with the safety of your role, and PPE cannot be safely used, alternative COVID-safety measures must be adopted to protect workers, including regular use of alcohol-based hand rub and physical distancing of at least 1.5M

Current as at: Wednesday 9 June 2021
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW