Int’l maritime transport in Albania to resume with 70 pct passenger capacity

International maritime passenger transport in Albania, which resumes from Monday, will restart with 70 percent of capacity, head of the General Maritime Directorate Paulin Ndreu told Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) in an interview.

Ndreu declared that all port authorities and maritime agencies must strictly implement the transport operation protocol for COVID-19 approved by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy on June 5.

Passenger ferries and ships, according to the protocol, are allowed to carry up to 70 percent of their capacity as defined by current legislation.

Ndreu noted that the protocol aims to help maintain and protect the health of terminal employees, port operators, crew and passengers, as well as to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in open ports in Albania.

According to Ndreu, the categories of people that will be allowed to travel by ferry transport during the first phase include: all foreign nationals who are in Albania or come to Albania for work or business, all Albanian citizens residing in European Union (EU) countries with documents from EU countries or other non-EU countries, as well as Albanian and foreign diplomats.

“The Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy and the General Maritime Directorate are working and awaiting the EU decision on the final opening, which we hope will be July 1, 2020,” Ndreu told ATA.

Some of the health protocols imposed to prevent the spread of infection among passengers and crew members include the maintenance of physical distance of 1.5 meters, wearing a mask which is mandatory, as well as one passenger per cabin, except when passengers belong to the same family.

The ministry announced that as of Monday Albania will resume all international passenger flights and maritime transport after a three-month interruption.

On Monday, the health authorities reported 33 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, raising the total confirmed COVID-19 cases to 1,995, with 1,159 recoveries and 45 fatalities.