In line with the Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime's keenness to continue the transport of passengers and goods locally, whilst ensuring the safety and good health of both the staff and users of public transport, and to promote a culture of readiness and preparedness to deal with COVID-19, FTA announced a set of instructions for the parties who benefit from its services and deal therewith in the field of land transport.
As part of its measures to fight COVID-19, FTA urges every and each party that practices activities of land transport to ensure compliance with the instructions and guidelines issued by UAE official authorities, educate their workers about such instructions and guidelines, and apply the necessary and required precautions in all aspects of their operations.
According to these instructions, no ships can enter any dry dock or repair and maintenance workshops before at least 14 days elapse after leaving its last International port, and there must be no contact with any person outside the ship from outside UAE in the last 14 days. This should be interpreted as the required quarantine period for the crew of any ship wishing to enter.
Moreover, FTA gave strict instructions to organisations to ensure accuracy, seek information from the official sources only, keep up to date regarding Corona Virus, develop and apply appropriate internal plans to prevent an outbreak of the COVID-19 among workers, educate their workers about infection prevention rules and procedures, ensure availability of all the necessary preventive equipment and disinfection supplies to all staff, particularly to frontline staff, and monitor stocks thereof to make sure they’re kept available.
This comes with the detailed instructions that each organisation should draw and implement an appropriate plan for regularly disinfecting means of transport and facilities, as determined by the competent authorities from time to time, establish communication channels with the relevant officers within each organization to facilitate the reporting of any symptoms and to deal swiftly with any suspected or actual cases in accordance with the procedures applied in the country; and ensure the availability of alternative human resources to maintain the vital functions should those currently undertaking such functions become infected and unable to continue their work.
FTA made it clear that operating organisations should reduce the number of frontline staff and apply remote working whenever possible using enabling modern technologies; launch communication channels with the users and publicize them as widely as possible; and implement appropriate procedures to ensure the requisite preventive distancing is applied in public transport means and stations and at customer service centers to avoid the spread of infection.
FTA stressed on the necessity to apply the necessary preventive measures in relation to the way passenger get on and off public transport means in order to reduce risk of infection to both driver and passengers (e.g. drivers should direct passengers to use the rear door instead of the front door in order to protect the driver from the infection and provide disinfection and prevention equipment and supplies on board the means of transport). They also need to apply all the required preventive measures when providing mass transport services of all kinds, e.g. transporting laborers from/to worksites, in order to reduce the risk of infection to both driver and passengers.
Hessa Al Malek, Executive Director of the maritime Sector, FTA said the authority will continue to work in coordination with all competent authorities in the country to enforce these instructions and impose fines on the violators.