Spanish ferry operator Baleària is working towards being the first shipping line in the world to obtain the Global Safe Site Covid-19 badge at the highest level (Excellence) from the international certification and inspection body Bureau Veritas. Specifically, the certificate will guarantee that Baleària goes beyond the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation, conducting more complete, reinforced procedures beyond those indicated by said authorities in terms of safety and cleaning. Image Courtesy: Baleària The certification is expected to be issued in early June and will be renewed every six months with periodic inspections. As explained, the badge will certify that the company’s ships and the ferry terminals it manages implement specific procedures, cleaning plans, organisational and personal protective measures to prevent COVID-19. As informed, certification will cover sixteen of the company’s ships and two ferry terminals that Baleària manages directly. For the initial analysis, samples will be taken from twelve ships and two ferry terminals, with nineteen analyses being performed, to be repeated each month on board two of the ships and at one ferry terminal. If a positive result is detected for any of the ships or facilities, an exceptional analysis will be conducted. “At Baleària we are working to increase the inherent level of safety of this means of transport, and Bureau Veritas certification will provide a guarantee that our ships are the most trustworthy means of travel.” Baleària’s aim is to obtain the certificate at the Excellence level, for which Bureau Veritas will examine the effectiveness of its programme by measuring appropriate disinfection of surfaces to deal with any possible presence of the coronavirus, through periodic inspections conducted by a laboratory. The carrier will also periodically be testing for the possible presence of the virus on surfaces in order to obtain the certificate at Excellence level. As for personal protective measures, the audit will systematically check the personal hygiene and social distancing provisions, the handling of PPE and identification of sensitive workers, among other elements. In terms of organisational measures, the aspects to be analysed include cleaning and periodic disinfection, capacity reduction, staggered arrivals and departures, and measures to deal with infection or suspected cases. The inspection will lastly cover the cleaning and disinfection of the facilities, the adaptation of spaces and air renewal plans, according to the company. “Travel by sea is better able than any other to guarantee safety, since the large spaces available on board allow distance to be maintained between passengers,” Adolfo Utor, Baleària’s president, said.