The Transport National Ports Authority (TNPA) says it has taken an executive decision to prohibit crew changes across all eight commercial ports in South Africa.
This follows new port-related Regulations signed into effect by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The regulations state that as of Wednesday (March 18), no crew changes are permitted in the Ports of Saldanha and Mossel Bay until further notice.
But the TNPA says it has decided to include Durban, Richards Bay, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Ngqura and East London.
TNPA says no South African sea-port has been closed in its entirety and commercial cargo operations will continue at all ports.
IDAmira COVID-19 drama ends
Meanwhile, more than 1 700 passengers and crew of the cruise ship AIDAmira, who had been stuck on board the ship in Cape Town harbour for five days, will finally be allowed to disembark.
This follows the isolation of six fellow passengers who had earlier shared an airplane flight from Istanbul to Cape Town with a sailor who has since developed symptoms.
Acting CEO of the South African Maritime Authority Sobantu Tilayi says disembarkation will start on Thursday morning.
He was speaking at a media briefing, where Minister Mbalula announced the commencement of strict new regulations on the movement of ships in and out of the country’s ports.
“We have got a notification that the 6 passengers that we had isolated have now come out clear. The next thing is to disembark these people and again we need to follow that protocol; see how we quarantine them and those that want to leave what procedure we need to follow in them disembarking and in them joining the aviation. Most of them are obviously going to fly back home,” explains Tilayi.
Below is Minister Mbalula’s statement on COVID-19: