Geraldton port to maintain “strict protocols” around three ships from Indonesia in port waters

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
An aerial view of Geraldton Port
Camera IconAn aerial view of Geraldton Port Credit: Picture: Mid West Ports

There are now three vessels in Geraldton Port waters which originated from Indonesia, with another two ships expected to arrive later this week.

The statement from Mid West Ports Authority comes after Premier Mark McGowan, right on Friday announced tougher protocols for ships using WA ports to reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Mr McGowan said vessels wanting to enter WA having stopped at a higher-risk jurisdiction such as Indonesia must have had no onshore crew visits.

Rapid testing of the entire crew from arrival at high-risk locations will be required, and evidence of a negative result might be a pre-condition of entering WA waters.

The Premier also said the State Government “reserves the right” to turn away vessels suspected of being exposed to COVID-19.

Mr McGowan said the measures were in place with immediate effect and described them as a “final warning” for the shipping industry after a spate of COVID-infected ships berthing in WA in recent weeks.

MWPA confirmed one vessel which was last in Indonesia about 22 days ago was due to arrive in Geraldton on Monday and the other ships en route to the port should arrive by Friday.

Over the past three months, another three vessels with their last international port registered as Indonesia have berthed in Geraldton.

At time of print, MWPA had received no reports of ill health from the vessels in or approaching port waters.

A spokesperson said MWPA would continue to maintain “strict protocols” around international vessel arrivals, including quarantine time frames, health reporting requirements, wearing of personal protective equipment and limited personnel contact, and no crew disembarkation.

The Premier said the State Government would consider a temporary ban on vessels who have been through “higher risk ports”, and shipping companies who do not meet the required standards could be banned from berthing at a WA port.

He said putting in place new fines for commercial vessels that knowingly or recklessly bring COVID-19 into Western Australia may also be imposed.

Premier Mark McGowan addresses the media at Dumas House.
Camera IconPremier Mark McGowan addresses the media at Dumas House. Credit: Kelsey Reid

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