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Port keeps up strict protocols for crews

Crews from ships docking here are allowed onshore only after completing Covid-19 precautions, Eastland Port says.

Eastland Group chief operating officer Andrew Gaddum said Eastland Port took the safety of port users, visitors, staff and the Tairawhiti community “extremely seriously”.

“The port continues to work with Hauora Tairawhiti, Maritime NZ, and other authorities to ensure stringent protocols are followed.

“Relevant port staff are tested for Covid once every two weeks by Hauora Tairawhiti and wear PPE (personal protective equipment) as required.

“Across all New Zealand ports, shore leave is currently allowed for ships' crews only if they have met Covid-19 declaration requirements, along with strict quarantine regulations that ensure they have been isolating at sea for more than 14 days before they arrive in a New Zealand port.

“They also need to receive medical clearance from the local health board.”

Mr Gaddum said that throughout the pandemic, health and safety requirements for the maritime border had been reviewed and updated a number of times, in response to the evolving situation.

“We continue to update our protocols accordingly, to protect our maritime border.”

Defence Force and border security staff were also still on-site, Mr Gaddum said.

Napier Port this week refused to allow a ship with 21 close contacts of a port worker who tested positive for Covid-19 to dock, meaning the ship and crew could be forced to sail to Auckland.

The New Zealand Herald reported the Ken Rei was due in port on Sunday to load logs but has been anchored off the coast since Sunday afternoon.

It is carrying 21 sailors, all of whom are considered close contacts of New Zealand's newest Covid-19 community case — a marine electronics engineer from Auckland, who went to New Plymouth for work last week and tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday. Mr Gaddum said no ships had been diverted to Gisborne as a result.