Information regarding Covid-19

We will be updating this web page regularly with information we feel may be important to you, but we take no legal responsibility for the information provided.

Letter from the General Manager

Dear customers,

At this time, we would like to update you on the latest developments regarding the Corona virus situation and how we at GAC Norway are adapting to be able to provide you with the same great service during this challenging period.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health has implemented a widespread shut-down of kindergartens, schools, universities, sports arenas, gyms, bars, restaurants and other institutions where many people are gathered. These measures are in effect from Thursday 12 March until at least April 14th.

More information is available at the websites of The Norwegian Directorate of Health.

The Norwegian Government has partially closed all airports and harbors effective from Monday 16th March 08:00. Only Norwegian citizens will be allowed to enter the borders. Crew changes may be possible with some precautions outlined below.

More information is available at the websites of the Norwegian Government.

Loading/unloading operations at terminals and flow of goods across borders is not affected by this decision but certain precautions have been implemented to avoid HSSE issues related to the Corona virus. The partial closing of harbors and airports is restricted to humans only and will not affect the flow of goods. We have a logistics and freight department ready to handle your ships spares and freight needs by air, sea and land.

The authorities are encouraging people to work from home. GAC Norway has a social responsibility to follow these directions from the authorities and have implemented home office for most staff. Some employees still need to go to work. Therefore our offices and warehouses have implemented extra precautions to ensure we are compliant with the Norwegian Institute Of Public Health’s guidelines, advice and instructions to avoid further spread of the virus.

GAC Norway has advanced IT systems and our employees have all the equipment they need to execute the job the way you are used to. We can assure you that our service level will not be affected by this situation and we will be cooperating closely with all our customers to solve any new challenges related to the Corona virus.

To safeguard the health and well-being of our employees, our customers and our customers’ staff, we will in this special situation not board your vessels. Necessary paperwork needs to be handled electronically.

The contents of this letter may change or be updated if/when the situation changes. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our local office handling your port call.

If you need assistance with freight, please contact logistics.norway@gac.com

Best regards,

Mikael Rødseth
General Manager
GAC Norway

Crew changes

As per May 7th:

  • The Norwegian government continues measures implemented March 16th 08:00.

Information from the Norwegian Police Authorities

Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, new regulations have been issued regarding arrivals to Norway. Persons who arrive to Norway from another country must go into quarantine for 10 days after arrival. This applies to everybody, both those who are not ill and those who have signs of airways infection.

Crew on ships that arrive in Norway should not leave the ship. If they do, they will have to enter quarantine. They may, however, perform necessary work within the terminal’s ISPS area without being affected by the regulations.

Truck drivers and other persons involved with transport of goods or passengers are exempted from these rules. But they must travel straight to their planned destination and should avoid close/physical contact with others as far as possible.

Foreign crew who enter or leave a ship at a Norwegian port, and just travel through Norway to or from their home or place of work, and are free from disease, are also exempted from quarantine. However, they must travel straight to the planned destination and minimize close/physical contact with others. The travel must be in an infection control-responsible manner, according to guidelines from the Directorate of Health.

Crew and passengers, who leave the ship and thus are obliged to enter quarantine, may travel to their planned destination and comply with quarantine restrictions there. The travel must be in an infection control-responsible manner, according to guidelines from the Directorate of Health. However, if somebody has an airways infection, that person should be isolated as soon as possible and use of public transport is forbidden. In such cases, the Health Care and the Police must be notified before they leave the ship.

We stress the fact that crew changes need to be held at an absolute minimum.

Offsigners and onsigners

Crew must travel directly to the destination with limited stops and minimize close/physical contact with others. The travel must be in an infection control-responsible manner, according to guidelines from the Directorate of Health. If accommodation is required, hotels following the quarantine regime, or defined as a quarantine hotel by a local medical officer, is the only option. Vessels need to confirm that the offsigning crew are symptom free and have no airway infections.

Offsigning crew with symptoms or airway infections will be isolated as soon as possible. Public healthcare and police must be notified before leaving the ship. Contact your agent as early as possible.

Special quarantine transport and quarantine accommodation arranged by agent will apply for on- and offsigners. Such transport and accommodation must be the most convenient place between port and international airport. See the section Guidelines for quarantine transport for details.

Domestic flights are not possible. However, special permission might be obtained on a case-by-case-basis.

The following airports normally have direct flights out of Norway:

  • Oslo
  • Stavanger
  • Bergen
  • Trondheim
  • Tromsø
  • Sandefjord

International flights are very limited and restrictions apply, changes, including shutdowns, of international terminals may occur on short notice.

Local variations may apply – check with your airline or local agent.

Flight information from Avinor.

Keep updated with news from the Norwegian Government.

Guidelines for quarantine transport

Our Commitment

The Norwegian Directorate of Health has implemented a widespread shut-down. In order to be compliant with all new regulations we as agents are expected to risk assess and plan transportation to handle crew change without risking infection.

Quarantine transportation

In order to achieve the above, our transport supplier is expected to:

  • Establish routines to be compliant with the Norwegian Institute Of Public Health’s guidelines, advice and instructions to avoid further spread of the virus
  • Have a separate entrance behind B-pillar of the vehicle
  • Have a physical barrier between driver and passengers for a minimum of 2 meters
  • Provide minimum 2 meters between each passenger
  • Establish routines and have equipment for disinfection of the vehicle

Additional reservations

  • Normal “Meet & Greet” in arrival halls / ports with signs
  • Always maintain a minimum distance of 2 meters
  • Passengers must handle own luggage / baggage in and out of the vehicle
  • No unnecessary stops are allowed
  • For longer driving distances, passengers are expected to bring own supplies of food and drinks for consumption during the transport. This must be purchased prior to meet & greet in the arrival hall or provided on board the vessel for offsigners
  • If hotel accommodation is required, hotels must be under the quarantine regime and according to guidelines set by the Norwegian Institute of Public health.

GAC Standard

To safeguard the health and well-being of our employees, our customers and our customers’ and suppliers’ staff we need to take extra precautions to ensure we are compliant with the Norwegian Authorities’ guidelines, advice and instructions to avoid further spread of the virus.

We kindly ask you as our valued supplier of transport services, to confirm the above guidelines to: qhsse.norway@gac.com

Shore leave

Shore leave is NOT permitted in any Norwegian ports.

All required work in connection with vessels operation within ISPS area is allowed.

Local limitations, procedures and regulations will apply.

GAC as «agent only»

OKTB/LOI will be issued as normal, as long the above crew procedures is in place.

We need to receive written confirmation that crew is symptom free of Covid-19. The same applies for off signers.

All delays and cost will be for the owner of the vessel in full.

Visitors, services and inspections

This must be kept at an absolute minimum, and may in some ports not be allowed.

Kindly verify with your agent before arrangements are made and confirmed.

The following questions need to be asked:

  • Is it required for maintaining normal operation of the vessel?
  • Can it be postponed?
  • Can it be done remotely?

Notification to health authorities

Both ship and port operators are required to immediately notify the health authorities of an outbreak, or suspected outbreak, of the Corona virus on board a vessel. This is in accordance with the Regulations on Alerting and Measures for Serious Events of Importance to International Public Health (IHR Regulation).

If there is any suspicion of a possible outbreak of disease, contact your local agent who will assist in coordinating all involved parties.

Important contacts:

  • Notify Vardø Maritime Traffic Center at +47 78 98 98 98 for assistance in notifying the municipal doctor / municipal consultant in the municipality the vessel first arrives.
  • Notify the Public Health Institute at +47 21 07 70 00 (during working hours) or at +47 21 07 63 48 (infection control guards).
  • Medical ward: 116 117

Further handling of the matter lies with the health authorities.

The IHR regulations allow the health authorities to take action against persons, including the quarantine of vessels.

Please note the following:

General regulations specify that ships cannot be refused to arrive at a port, unload or load cargo or storage for public health reasons, and shall be allowed to board fuel, water, food and supplies (§ 17). The Port and Waters Act also does not provide grounds for denying this.

However, the quarantine regulations have precedence over the Port and Waters Act in cases of possible outbreak of disease.

For cruise companies

All ports in Norway are closed for passenger transport.

Cruise ships can come alongside for provisions, water supply, garbage removal and crew changes.

Passengers might be allowed to sign off under the same quarantine regime as crew members.

Passengers and crew are not allowed to leave ships according to shore leave regulations.

This is valid per now and will be updated as soon as new information is provided by government.

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