Port Alberni’s deepsea harbour was a busy place for a Tuesday evening in mid-July 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Port Alberni Port Authority says foreign vessels are following COVID-19 regulations

Shore leave is available to all asymptomatic seafarers on the vessel

A freighter docked in Port Alberni’s deepsea harbour drew some concern on social media last week, as local residents were concerned about the foreign crew members spotted walking around town during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA) says that all crews are following regulations that have been mandated by Transport Canada.

“The regulations dictate that shore leave is available to all seafarers on the vessel for up to four hours each day,” explained Mike Carter, PAPA director of operations.

RELATED: Dual Canada-U.S. citizens face hostile reception in Port Alberni

During that four-hour period, seafarers are allowed to visit a designated “haven” (a secure, indoor lounge area located at Harbour Quay) for internet access and some land-based free time. Crew members are also allowed to visit local businesses for essentials, such as food, personal care products and health care.

While on land, seafarers are required to minimize contact with locals and follow recommendations for COVID-19 prevention, with proper hand hygiene, social distancing and cough/sneeze etiquette.

“They have to go to and from their destinations directly for provisions,” said Carter. “They’re not being tourists.”

Carter explained that the freighter in the port last week had come directly from Asia, which means that crews have been at sea for 14 to 20 days.

“They’re probably quarantined better than most of us,” he said. “They don’t want COVID either—they don’t want to mix and mingle while they’re on shore.”

Arriving ships are required to submit a pre-arrival checklist 96 hours before landing, which includes information about the health of its crew.

“This vessel that was recently here was deemed to be healthy and COVID-free,” Carter said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

ACTIVE LIVING: Eating well builds a healthy immune system

Port Alberni registered dietitian Sandra Gentleman writes about health issues

ALBERNI GOLF: Golf club hosts mixed couples tournament

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament was limited to 48 players, members only

ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre hosts last workshop of the summer

Find out how you can support the Community Arts Council through COVID-19

EDITORIAL: Connect the Quays a key concept for tourism

Pathway could be a tourism gem for City of Port Alberni

Port Alberni artist pens dystopian novel

Haven Hold by Shelley Penner is set to debut on August 25

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Most Read