Updated Friday 23 October 2020
Please visit www.covid19.govt.nz for more information on COVID-19.
Marine Electronics Contractor COVID-19 case.
On Sunday 18 October, we were advised by Ministry of Health of a COVID-19 case related to a Contractor who visited POAL and Port Taranaki over the previous week. The Ministry of Health has advised that the case is a new case from the border and it is not related to the Auckland cluster nor community transmission.
The Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) investigations in to the cause of the COVID-19 case of the Auckland-based Marine Electronics Contractor is ongoing. The investigations are focusing on an international crew exchange that took place on a vessel at Multi Cargo. Eight foreign crew were transferred to the vessel on Tuesday 13 October. The Auckland-based Marine Electronics Contractor also worked on the ship that day. Foreign crew are allowed into New Zealand without being tested for COVID-19 or going through managed isolation. We are asking the Government to review this process, and we are therefore implementing some interim changes until the Authorities have revised their processes:
- We will reinstate the exchange of international crew (those that fly in to New Zealand to board a ship) on the proviso that crew have completed the NZ Government's 14 day managed isolation programme and they have been cleared by the MIQ centre for discharge with negative COVID-19 test results. This applies irrespective of whether the ship is departing overseas or visiting other New Zealand ports.
- Local New Zealand crew exchanges may occur without crew completing an managed isolation period.
- Crew disembarking continue to follow the current processes.
The ARPHS considers the risk of transmission to Ports of Auckland users to be low.
This case is a timely reminder that we are all responsible for keeping New Zealand’s border safe. As the pandemic continues across the globe we must treat all international crew as if they have COVID-19. If you’re working on board a ship, you must follow the COVID-19 controls, particularly:
- Distance from crew (at least 2m)
- If you can’t distance wear COVID-19 PPE (mask and gloves) in addition to your usual PPE. While wearing your PPE remember not to touch your face and take particular care when removing your mask and gloves. Disposable PPE should be disposed in landfill bins.
- Have a regular COVID-19 test (at least fortnightly) – you must comply with the Ministry of Health Order COVID-19 Public Health Response (Required Testing) Order 2020. Fines may be issued for higher risk workers who fail to comply with the order.
While the risk of exposure remains low the port testing centres remains available for all Ports of Auckland employees, even if you don’t work on a ship. The port testing sites are for people who do not have any COVID-19 symptoms.
COVID-19 testing for 'higher-risk' workers who have worked at Ports of Auckland.
All higher-risk workers (anyone who goes on board or works around an international vessel at a port) must be COVID-19 tested fortnightly.
While our border controls are working well, regular testing of border workers helps prevent the risk of, and quickly identifies if there is any COVID-19 coming through the border. Testing is a vital part of the governments COVID-19 management strategy.
Higher risk worker is anyone who works on or around ships: pilots, stevedores, linesmen, agents, providors etc.
Testing is available at a community testing centre with a voucher - please contact your employer for a list of locations and voucher. More permanent, on-site testing facilities have been established for asympomatic port users.
- A portacom outside the Fergusson head office main doors.
- A portacom located by the Bledisloe car handling building (behind the Bledisloe carpark off Tinley Street).
This order applies to higher-risk workers at Ports of Auckland, Port of Tauranga and Auckland International Airport.
Thank you for your cooperation.
The current situation:
New Zealand, including Auckland is currently at COVID-19 Alert Level 1.
We have had border controls and restrictions in place since January and these will continue. We have reinstated landside controls and additional measures to ensure our people are protected from COVID-19.
The port is an essential service and we will keep Auckland’s freight moving in all Alert Levels.
As one of Auckland’s lifeline utilities we are acutely aware of our responsibility to ensure that 1.7 million Aucklanders can continue to get key essentials through the port amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re also aware that many Auckland businesses rely on getting imports in or exports out via our port to keep their businesses running.
We want to reassure you that we are doing all we can to safeguard our ability to service ships, so we can continue to serve Aucklanders. Ports of Auckland’s container and multi cargo terminals are open and operating. To date there has been no impact on our ability to operate.
As a border organisation, it is critical we protect our staff and our maritime border, and we need to remain aware of the potential risks we face. We are a gateway to the world, which is still in the midst of a pandemic.We
have taken, and are continuing to take, strong measures to safeguard our people
so we can perform this important social and economic role for Auckland.
Keep safe, healthy and look out for one another.