These guidelines were approved by the Council of Ministers for Economic Integration (COMIECO) and the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA), with the following goals:
- Establish coordinated procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19,
- Ensure the health of cargo carriers,
- Cleaning and disinfection of means of transport and,
- The fluidity of trade.
1. BIOSAFETY GUIDELINES OF LAND CARGO TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES:
Entrance and Exit of the facilities of the land cargo transport company.
a) Disinfection of general work areas and parking lot for transportations.
b) Disinfection of the transports before and after each service/operation.
c) The permanent use of mask.
d) Establish an inspection point to take the temperature of all workers entering the facilities, for which there must be a person responsible for taking the temperature with an infrared or laser digital clinical thermometer to avoid contact, the person responsible must be fully protected (surgical mask, lenses and disposable gloves).
e) Maintain the recommended distances between people (between 1.5 and 2 meters).
f) Use shoe washing or footbath with a disinfecting solution.
g) Install 70% alcohol-based alcohol gel hand dispensers in the entrance areas for hand disinfection.
h) Workers with temperatures above 37.5 ° C will not be able to enter the facilities, they must be referred to the corresponding health centers established by the authorities or call the appropriate competent authority.
i) Carry out hand washing with soap and water and/or disinfection with alcohol or hand sanitizer gel (70% alcohol based) when entering or leaving the premises.
j) It is recommended that companies reorganize their operations in such a way that if they have drivers or pilots who present greater health risks (hypertension, diabetes, among other conditions that increase their vulnerability) they can assign other functions within the company so as not to expose them during travel and decrease the risk of contagion.
k) Drivers or pilots must comply with all sanitary provisions before, during and after starting a trip.
Hygiene guidelines and personal care of cargo transportation drivers.
a) Disinfect your hands every time you enter and leave the means of transportation.
b) Maintain a recommended safety distance (between 1.5 and 2 meters).
c) Do not shake hands or any greeting that involves contact with another person.
d) Perform constant personal hygiene, as well as washing utensils and clothes daily.
e) Perform constant disinfection of cell phones, keys or other personal objects.
f) Perform shoe disinfection with a disinfecting solution.
g) Do not self-medicate; if you have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough or breathing difficulties) go immediately to the nearest health center or call the appropriate competent authority (or country).
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
a. 70% alcohol-based hand gel
b. Disposable gloves
c. Surgical mask
d. Protective lenses or face shield
e. Disinfecting liquid soap
f. Powdered detergent
g. Gallon size clean water container
h. Digital clinical infrared or laser thermometer for temperature taking
Use of supplies.
a. All cargo transport workers must have the basic biosafety supplies (mask, glasses, alcohol in disinfectant gel and disposable gloves).
b. Each person is responsible for the proper use of the basic biosafety supplies and the surveillance and monitoring of the use and good sanitary practices.
c. Guarantee that all personnel use the required PPE, according to their work activity, to prevent the transmission of the virus as provided in the national legislation of the Member States.
d. Personal protective equipment will be appropriate to the activities and work to be carried out.
e. Guarantee that users periodically clean and disinfect their PPE, all workers are responsible for their proper disinfection.
F. Request the replacement of the EPP when it is damaged, do not share for any reason.
g. Put on the PPE before entering the facilities, disposable PPE will be discarded using the appropriate techniques.
h. Discard the disposable PPE, in the appropriate waste containers, labeled with the precise warnings.
i. Perform hand washing with soap and water and/or disinfection with alcohol or disinfectant gel after removing the PPE.
j. The use of PPE is an essential requirement for those activities in which you have frequent and close contacts with people.
k. Wearing disposable gloves throughout the workday can create a false sense of security and should not under any circumstances replace hand washing with soap and water or disinfection with disinfectant gel on a regular basis.
2. PREVENTION GUIDELINES TO BE CONSIDERED BY THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES AGAINST SUSPICIOUS AND SICK CASES.
a. All cargo drivers or pilots and personnel should be trained not only to know what to do when a COVID-19 infection is suspected, but also to promote preventive measures.
Therefore, it is recommended that everyone be trained in:
i. Information on COVID-19, in particular on the symptoms, the incubation period and the modes of transmission of the virus.
ii. Epidemiological information on the affected areas.
iii. Information on disinfectants and correct hand hygiene.
iv. Information on how to proceed in case of symptoms.
v. Informational materials.
vi. Information about fast service lines in each country.
b. In case of presenting symptoms associated with COVID-19, the worker should follow this recommendations:
i. If you have symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, and difficulty breathing: Go to the nearest health center or call the appropriate competent authority to request assistance or another mechanism determined by the competent authority.
ii. Follow the instructions provided by health personnel by calling the appropriate competent authority (or the country hotline) or care at the health center.
iii. The decision to continue or not the journey of the pilot or driver will be made by the public health authorities in close coordination with the authorities that exercise control of the land border posts.
iv. The means of transport must be isolated in the previously enabled area; the external and internal disinfection measures will be applied.
v. In case of presenting symptoms when being at home, contact the direct boss to report them and determine not to show up for work as a preventive measure of infection.
vi. In the event that you are granted medical disability, you must present respective documentation such as prescription medications and the recommendations to follow.
General protocol for heads of workers:
i. The heads of work must have a diary of the disinfected areas of the means of transport, responsible of the disinfection and schedule. This will serve as a way of verifying the biosecurity of the transport and the driver prior to departure.
ii. In the event that a driver or worker presents or reports on symptoms in which COVID-19 is suspected as a probable condition, the following must be done:
a. Isolate the worker, provide a mask and avoid contact with other surfaces and other people; likewise, identify the people with whom the infected staff had contact to close the epidemiological circle.
b. Maintain active lines of communication and manage to provide medical care.
c. Once this procedure is completed, disinfect all possible objects or contaminated surfaces that may have been in contact with the symptomatic worker, including the means of transport.
d. If the worker has been in close contact with family members and people who have been in the same place with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they should not report to work and call the appropriate competent authority (or the country’s rapid helpline) to request assistance and Workers suspected or ill of COVID-19, who work in activities and tasks that require direct contact with people (transport of goods), must be subjected to isolation.
f. The transport company must have replacement personnel to cover personnel absences due to COVID-19, which may previously identify and notify in the field of observations of the Single Central American Declaration (DUCA-T), at the time of its generation.
a. All cargo transportation employees should be trained not only to know what COVID-19 is and what to do when COVID-19 infection is suspected, but also to promote and implement prevention measures.
b. Ground freight companies will be responsible for training their staff or any person they hire to perform international freight transport. In this sense, they must carry out training programs on the risks to which workers are exposed in organizations, centers and workplaces, with emphasis on biological prevention and control measures.
c. The companies of transport of terrestrial load should have logbooks of the training given, and it is suggested that this include the following: date, the topics of the training, duration of the training, list of participants, evaluations, results of the evaluations , corrective measures.
d. Land cargo transport companies will be responsible for training their staff or any person they hire to carry out international transport of goods, on at least the following topics:
i. Information on COVID-19, in particular on the symptoms, incubation period and modes of transmission of the virus.
ii. Epidemiological information on countries, regions, and affected areas.
iii. Information on preventive measures, including information on disinfectants and proper hand hygiene.
iv. Information on how to proceed in case of symptoms.
v. Information on the routes enabled for cargo transportation.
vi. Information on the measures that the Member States are implementing to deal with COVID-19, according to the established route.
vii. Information on disinfection of means of transport.
viii. Information on the contingency plans of the transport company, for any eventuality related to COVID-19 according to the established routes.
ix. Other related.
4. CLEANING GUIDELINES FOR THE CARGO MEANS OF TRANSPORT.
Sanitation of cargo transportation means:
Washing and cleaning the means of transport with disinfectant before and after each journey is mandatory, considering the following measures:
a. Surfaces must be cleaned with solutions recommended by international organizations and proven effective against COVID-19.
b. Each cleaning worker must have their own utensils and they must be disinfected before and after use; avoid sharing with the rest of the workers.
External cleaning of the means of transport and van.
Before loading, the driver must wash it with soap and water on the outside (tires, doors, bodywork in general, van) and use disinfectant solution (Check list of recommended disinfectants)
Internal cleaning and care of the cabin
The driver must clean with a disinfecting solution, the use of gloves and a mask is essential, disinfect:
a. Gear lever
b. Steering wheel
c. Contact controls while driving
e. Seat controls
F. Tachograph or speedometer (including all instruments manipulated by the driver)
a. Ventilate the cabin regularly during movement, keep windows closed during check-ups or checkpoints.
b. The cabin of the means of transport must be occupied only by the driver (International Transport) and/or transport personnel (transport personnel are limited to national transport).
c. Cash can be cleaned with the disinfecting solution.
d. In the case of using credit or debit cards, carry out the disinfection process the same as in the case of using cash.
e. If you require the use of ATMs, disinfect your hands immediately with antibacterial gel.
f. Cleaning is recommended every four hours or depending on the cabin exposure.
Internal Cleaning of the transport unit.
The Driver and/or transport personnel must clean the interior of the van and observe the following:
a. The means of transport is in good cleaning condition and has been disinfected.
b. Eliminate residues of previous cargoes (food, chemical compounds, etc.)
c. The closing of doors, curtains and other openings with closing mechanisms.
d. It is suggested to implement a simple hand washing system in the means of transport with disinfectant soap, for the exclusive use of the driver after having to carry out procedures or searches at the checkpoints or others.
a. Each means of transport must always carry disposable bags to discard the handkerchiefs and personal protective equipment, this bag must be removed on each trip that is properly closed, depositing it later in the corresponding waste bins, waste bins with pedal opening are recommended.
b. All disposable biosafety material (PPE, bags, etc.) or of possible source of contagion (handkerchiefs, cleaning articles, etc.) must be made in a different tank than regular waste and must be closed with a double bag with a bag zipper to then deposit in the places destined for the disposal of biosafety material.
5. BIOSAFETY GUIDELINES FOR THE LOADING, TRANSFER AND UNLOADING OF MERCHANDISE.
To safeguard the integrity of the people involved in the loading and unloading process at the different points, it is recommended:
i. That all the personnel involved in the operations of the cargo transport company have the mandatory biosafety equipment (gloves, face shield or glasses, masks and alcohol in disinfectant gel).
ii. Epidemiological surveillance at the loading and unloading point, taking temperature measurements and symptom control. If the driver has any symptoms or a temperature higher than 37.5 ° C, as long as he is not exposed to heat sources prior to taking the temperature, he will be sent to the nearest health center.
iii. Clean the means of transport on the outside (tires, wagon, doors, curtains and cabin) and inside (cabin and wagon), prior to loading.
iv. Carry out loading and unloading in a mechanized way, after using this machinery, it must be properly cleaned and disinfected.
v. Close the doors/curtain of the car. At no time will the driver or transport personnel have contact with the merchandise/product, in cases where there is need for the transfer of cargo, for those drivers or personnel who fulfill the functions of cargo personnel (such as distributors), they must handle the load observing the biosafety guidelines.
Before loading the merchandise.
The driver or pilots and transport personnel must:
a. Verify that the transport is in good cleaning condition and that it has been disinfected if necessary.
b. Check that there are no residues of previous cargoes.
c. Verify that there are no residues of chemical cleaning or disinfection compounds.
d. Check the closing of the doors and other openings with closing mechanisms.
During loading of goods
The driver or pilot and transport personnel must:
a. Verify that there are no breaks or deteriorations in the packaging or products.
b. Verify that the product is protected from dust, humidity or other types of dirt.
c. Avoid contact with the floor and walls of the cargo area or the means of transport.
d. Check that the means of transport do not include objects or substances other than those authorized in the documents issued by the shipper.
e. Prevent personnel other than cargo or animals from entering the means of transport.
f. Verify that the load is accommodated so that its exposure to the environment is reduced and located appropriately according to its temperature requirements.
g. Perform the disinfection process of the contact areas every four (4) hours.
h. The charging procedure should be carried out in the shortest possible time.
During the shipment of the merchandise.
The driver or pilot and transport personnel must:
a. Clean all frequent contact surfaces (doors, rudder, lever, dash, etc.) described in the instructions regarding internal cabin cleaning. It is recommended to carry out this measure at least every 4 hours or immediately when presenting possible contact with another person outside the cabin other than the driver or transport personnel.
b. Periodically wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or with hand sanitizer gel (70% alcohol-based).
c. Avoid touching your face. If necessary (eg sweat cleaning), wash hands before contact with the face and after it.
d. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing with your elbow or with a disposable tissue that will be thrown away after use.
e. The driver or transport personnel must use the mask and gloves if they must get off the means of transport.
e. Before entering the means of transport again, you must disinfect your shoes with a disinfecting solution and clean your hands with alcohol-based disinfectant gel.
g. In transit in the means of transport, you do not need to wear a mask if you are driving alone in it.
h. Feeding must be carried out in your means of transport, avoiding staying in crowded places and seeking hand hygiene with soap and water or hand sanitizer gel (70% alcohol-based). Eating with gloves on should be avoided.
i. A maximum of two people is allowed in the cabin for the transport of national cargo, for international travel only the driver will be allowed.
j. Maintain the recommended safety distance between people when making planned stops.
During the unloading of the merchandise.
The driver or pilot and transport personnel must:
a. At the unloading point prior to entering the facilities, do an external cleaning of the means of transport.
b. Have the mandatory biosecurity equipment applicable to all personnel involved with emphasis on unloading and transport personnel.
c. At the loading and unloading point, guarantee epidemiological surveillance, taking temperature measurements and controlling symptoms.
d. The driver will disinfect contact areas such as: hands, shoes, keys, padlocks, doors, curtains, etc. according to the protocol described above.
e. At the time of unloading the product, the driver must keep at least a distance of 1.5 meters from the unloading personnel, the driver may not unload any product, with the exception of those drivers who fulfill the loading and unloading functions.
f. In the event that documents are required to be signed, the driver must use his or her own pencil or encourage the electronic exchange of these documents.
g. Only the driver may close the curtains and/or doors of the transport.
h. Companies must establish measures to take in case the cargo or merchandise is rejected.
Recommendations in route planning.
a. Ground freight companies must identify workers with vulnerabilities and risk factors together with the health services and evaluate those workers with certain health conditions, which are considered risky for exposure to COVID-19 and establish the corresponding measures of isolation.
b. Routes should be planned to identify and define the places where stops will be made (for example: for rest, use of toilets, dining rooms or cafeterias), which meet the biosafety requirements. Trying to make as few stops as possible.
c. In the rest periods according to the scheduled stops during the tour, restrict food intake (preferably bringing your own) and sleep inside the means of transport in the compartment designed for that purpose or in the hotel assigned by the competent authority. All material entering the cabin must be disinfected in a 70% pure alcohol solution.
d. Plan with the clients the loading/unloading of the goods in the most precise way to avoid the accumulation of several carriers at the same time.
e. Establish alternative forms of delivery documents and receipt of goods (delivery notes) by electronic means to avoid personal contact.
f. Avoid cash as much as possible; it is advisable to manage the payment or per diem by electronic means.
g. It is recommended to keep a properly stocked first aid kit in the driver’s cabin.
h. Provide a fumigation pump to disinfect the transport (tires and wagon), without limiting the corresponding washing of the medium.
j. Provide a personal hygiene kit for each carrier, water, soap and hand sanitizer gel (based on 70% alcohol), disposable tissues, etc.
k. The transport company must provide the necessary PPE to its personnel (disposable gloves, glasses and mask).
l. The individualized use of the means of transporting loads is recommended, as well as utensils that are used for daily work.
m. All freight transport workers must avoid handling the merchandise they transport. In situations where this activity is part of your obligations or in situations in which such manipulation is necessary, you must comply with the required protection and prevention measures, which include, at least, hand washing and disinfection before and after the handling and use of suitable PPE (disposable gloves, lenses and mask). Additionally, aid must be guaranteed to avoid the manipulation of merchandise as much as possible (forklifts and other hauling equipment).
6. GUIDELINES FOR DISINFECTION OF BUILDINGS AND MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION.
Buildings and facilities
The surfaces of buildings and other facilities must be cleaned frequently, according to the International Protocols approved by the WHO and the Ministries of Health.
Means of transport.
a. External disinfection of the transport is recommended before entering the border post, with solutions recommended by international organizations, verifying that the pilot or driver has personal biosafety protective equipment such as: 70% alcohol-based hand gel, gloves, face masks or masks, face shield or glasses.
b. In addition, the competent authority must verify that:
i. The transport is in good cleaning condition and has been disinfected.
ii. That there are no residues of previous cargoes (food, chemical compounds, etc.)
iii. The closing of doors, curtains and others using closing mechanisms.
iv. It is suggested to implement simple hand washing systems in the means of transport, for the exclusive use of the driver after having to carry out procedures or searches at the checkpoints or others.