The Public Health (Ships) Regulations specify that no person other than a pilot, customs officer, immigration officer or port health officer shall board or leave a ship which is required to obtain free pratique for health clearance on arrival in the United Kingdom from a foreign port, without consent of the Port Health Authority.
A Master of a ship is required to report to the Port Health Authority not less than four hours and not more than 12 hours before arrival at a UK port from a foreign port:
A vessel requiring health clearance should show by day the international flag signal QQ, or by night a red light over a white light about two meters apart visible all around the horizon. The Master may be required to complete a Maritime Declaration of Health and should also have ready for the port health officer a list of passengers and crew leaving the ship together with the addresses they are going to in the United Kingdom.
The Lowestoft Port Health Authority can be contacted through a shipping agent or the port radio should be able to provide a direct contact. A Medical Officer or other officer of the PHA will board and grant health clearance when there has occurred on the ship any of the circumstances in either (a), (b) or (c) above.
Officers of the Authority work very closely with officials from the East of England Health Protection Team (EoEHPT) in carrying out the role of health educators amongst visiting seamen, often during inspections of vessels to advise on infection control in relation to a number of infectious diseases.
Additional advice and guidance on infectious disease control is available from several sources including UK Health Protection Agency, World Health Organisation (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the US and Pan America Health Organisation (PAHO).
More information for travellers on infectious diseases and other health matters is available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre.