The coronavirus is affecting all of us, at home and at work. But despite the major impact on our whole society, Port of Antwerp remains operational and we are facing up to this great social responsibility. We all know how important it is to keep supermarkets and pharmacies supplied, in Belgium and in Europe. It is our job to assure this supply.

At the same time we must safeguard the health and welfare of all employees in the port. The Port Authority constantly follows the advice of the national and international authorities in terms of health & safety, and works actively to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. We support our customers in practical ways, and keep them informed of the latest developments. If you have any questions, feel free to contact


Webinar 3 April - Port of Antwerp in times of Corona: ask us your questions'


The coronavirus is affecting all of us, at home and at work. It impacts production, transportation and logistics worldwide. Do you still have unanswered questions about the economic and operational impact of #Corona on the port of Antwerp? Then register for our free webinar on Tuesday 3 April. 


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Frequently Asked Questions


What are the general preventative measures?


To keep the port operational and assure a safe working environment, we are following the guidelines of the Federal Government Department of Health regarding:


  • staying at home at the first sign of illness
  • regularly washing hands
  • coughing and sneezing hygiene
  • avoiding handshakes and kissing
  • keeping a distance
  • working from home wherever possible


What is the Port Authority doing about staffing?


Port employees are working from home wherever possible, up to and including 5 April. In the meantime they can of course be contacted by phone and email. Operational services are continuing as normal. The Antwerp Coordination Centre is and remains available 24/7.


What is the Port Authority doing about events, guided tours and port visits?


Events, guided tours and port visits are either cancelled or postponed to a later date. Only essential visitors are allowed into our work locations. This means that members of the general public are refused admittance to the Port House and other work locations, and that the MAS Port Pavilion is temporarily closed.


An overview of all events can be found here. All measures apply up to and including 5 April.


Are DeWaterBus and the Bike Bus still operating?


deWaterBus and the Bike Bus remain operating only for people travelling to and from work. Tourists and day trippers are asked not to get on board. In the meantime, the rule of keeping a distance of 1.5 metres of course still applies. A maximum of 45 passengers per trip is allowed.


Trips on deWaterBus can only be paid for electronically. From Saturday 21 March the deWaterbus sails with four ships instead of six. The service to the Kallosluis stop remains guaranteed. The Lillo and Liefkenshoek stops are temporarily no longer served.


The most recent information can be found in the Bike Bus newsletter (register at and on DeWaterBus app.


From Friday 20 March a maximum of 10 cyclists may ride in a Bike Bus. The bicycle bus also only rides for harbour employees. We ask all passengers to spread out as much as possible in the bus. We are currently looking into increasing the frequency of the bicycle bus. If we all take our responsibility, we will not give the coronavirus a chance to spread in the harbour. And so together we will keep our port running.


What if we have facemasks to spare?


Do you have facemasks to spare (however few)? If so, hand them over to the Port Authority, and we'll pass them on to hospitals and institutions that need them. They are desperately needed by healthcare personnel. Contact us at


What will be the economic impact?


The great uncertainty about the spread of coronavirus makes it difficult to assess the economic impact. Since the outbreak has not remained limited to China, it will inevitably have an effect on the world economy and on the freight volume handled by Port of Antwerp. It is still too early to estimate the impact on the flow of goods.




Are ships being screened for illness (including coronavirus) before being allowed to dock?


All incoming ships must submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH) 24 hours before entering port, in which the ship's master declares whether there is any illness or suspected illness on board, together with a list of the last 10 ports of call. Ships are now screened for this by Saniport, which of course now also includes coronavirus.


Is it safe to open or handle containers or cargo on ships coming from risk regions?


The virus is passed on from person to person. How exactly this occurs is not known, but most probably by coughing and sneezing. The virus cannot survive for long outside the body, which excludes cargo and containers. Other coronaviruses do not spread in this way, and there is no reason to believe that Covid-19 is any different.


Will port operations (including locks, bridges, tugs etc.) remain assured at all times?


Operations will continue as normal, but with the following measures:


  • In case of illness, Port Authority personnel must stay at home
  • Going on board is being limited to the most essential visits
  • On board, direct contact with captain and crew must be avoided by keeping a distance, and the rules concerning hand washing and coughing and sneezing hygiene must be respected.


The Port Authority constantly follows the advice of the WHO, EU, and the Federal Government Departments of Health and Mobility, and will keep you informed of any changes in these.


What are the guidelines for the personnel of terminals and quays?


To limit the spread of the virus as much as possible, terminals and quays are urged to apply the basic rules for hygiene and distancing, namely:


  • In case of illness, stay at home
  • Limit going on board to the most essential visits
  • On board, avoid direct contact with captain and crew by keeping a distance, and respect the rules concerning hand washing and coughing and sneezing hygiene.


Be sure to follow the additional advice issued by CEPA. To give a specific example: at the truckers' reporting desk, impose a limit on the number of people who can stand in the queue, and draw lines on the ground for people to keep their distance in the queue. If possible, work with a ticket-and-call system. Ensure good hand hygiene for the use of hand scans and touchscreens.


What are the guidelines for ships' crews?


Crews must avoid direct contact with the crews of other vessels (bunkering vessels etc.), surveyors, terminal personnel, … as much as possible. They must keep their distance as necessary, but without hindering the work of these other personnel. Avoid entering the accommodation area of the ships, work by radio as much as possible, and by non-physical communication at the accommodation ladder. For example, send documents by email instead of handing over physical documents.


I live in the Netherlands and the measures are different there. Which measures should I follow?


The rules of the country in which you work apply, not the rules of the country in which you live.


What are the guidelines concerning shore leave for ship's crews?


Ships should be very careful about permitting shore leave for their crews. Consider how necessary it is, versus the risk of them catching the virus. We advise limiting shore leave, crew changes etc. to the absolute essential.


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The Port Authority is there to answer all your questions. Contact us at