COVID-19 is a hot topic globally. It’s not just media hype, it’s very real and is affecting both health and economics globally. With governments implementing isolation plans and travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus, this is an unsettling period for many, including the superyacht industry. It’s now more important than ever that you have your own way of screening visitors as they board your yacht — to protect your guests and crew, and to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
Preventative measures need to be put in place for any visitors boarding the yacht.
There are preventative measures yachts should (and are) taking. While you can manage this on board among crew, it’s not so easy with essential visitors and contractors you’re looking to host. If someone — who may be a risk to the health and safety of your crew — boards the vessel, you need to be able to identify them. And of course, you must also immediately take action, whether that’s to allow them entry or to ask them to kindly reschedule and return at a later date.
Preventative measures need to be put in place for any visitors boarding the yacht. You must ensure this process runs as smoothly as possible in line with your policy around COVID-19. An effective solution for screening guests might be to use a paper-based process; however, you should also consider using a digital screening tool. Whatever route you choose, it’s important that the system (iPad, computer, or pen) is sanitized between uses and all potential transmission precautions are taken.
The safest way to go is to cancel any in-person appointments. Of course, there may be critical maintenance or deliveries that you need to facilitate in person. Digital screening tools allow you to monitor who is boarding and disembarking the yacht, have full visibility on the names of those individuals, and keep a record of the time and date of when they visited.
If there is any concern around a particular name, the correct action should be taken quickly and effectively. The World Health Organization advises the following for visitors participating in meetings, but it can be applied to visitors coming on board:
- Retain names and contact details: You should do this for all participants for at least one month. This will help public health authorities trace people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 if one or more participants become ill shortly after the visit.
- Contact tracing and communication: If someone at the meeting or event was a suspected COVID-19 case, the organizer should let all participants know this. They should be advised to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days and take their temperature twice a day.
While the COVID-19 threat is unsettling to many yachts, their crew, and, of course, itinerary planning, a visitor screening solution will assist in both mitigation and audit trail should the worst occur.
The column originally ran in the June 2020 issue of Dockwalk.