Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as MERS (Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). The COVID-19 strain is a new strain not previously seen in humans.

Further information can be found on the World Health Organisation website.

In response to the emerging situation and the advice given by the World Health Organisation; Officers from the Councils Port Health team have implemented enhanced surveillance measures at the Port of Felixstowe.

All vessels arriving at Felixstowe are now required to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH) – a document from the International Health Regulations that contains information about health on board a ship. Further information can be found on our website here.

In addition all vessels that call at Felixstowe must inform Port Health of the countries that all persons on board the ship have been to in the last 14 days.

Officers of the Port Health Authority are undertaking assessment of the documents and information supplied, and providing health protection information.

Checks so far have all been negative, however Port Health remains vigilant and are monitoring the international developments and UK Government advice closely. A Public Health Emergency Contingency Plan, maintained by Port Health and its partners, is in place to respond to any significant issue at the Port of Felixstowe.

UK government advice and updates can be found here.

NHS advice on COVID-19 can be found here.


Ship Operators

The International Chamber of Shipping has issued Guidance for Ship Operators for the Protection of the Health of Seafarers which can be found here.

EU Healthy Gateways has issued Advice for ship operators for preparedness and response to the outbreak of COVID-19 which can be found here. This shoudl be read along with commission guidance which can be found here.

The UK government have issued advice for shipping and seaports on coronavirus (COVID-19) which can be found here.

Advice on social distancing on cargo ships can be found here.


Staff in the Transport Sector

Specific guidance for staff in the transport sector can be found here.


COVID-19: Public Health England advice to the public can be found here.