Port Health Update: COVID-19

Dear stakeholders/ To whom it may concern,


The current COVID-19 global pandemic has resulted in corporate business continuity planning arrangements becoming active at Mersey Port Health Authority (MPHA), from week commencing 16th March 2020. These arrangements are in place to ensure minimum service levels are maintained and statutory duties are performed for the foreseeable future.


To prevent a possible service shutdown due to potential staff COVID-19 virus exposure, the service will operate statutory functions with limited staff across several locations. This approach may result in slower processing of normal tasks and stakeholders are requested to bear this in mind when communicating with the service. Imported food Official Controls may slow down as a result, and MPHA will endeavour to continue to process consignment throughput as quickly as possible, but subject to the Port Operator bringing containers to the Border Control Post.


The following measures will now be in place and normal business processes are affected as follows:


  • The service will continue to operate an out of hours emergency response function as a Category One responder.
  • Office staffing levels are now significantly reduced with alternative arrangements now active (i.e. working from home, working on site)
  • Non statutory work (food sampling surveillance and vessel routine boarding visits) will cease with immediate effect.
  • All phone calls into the main office 01512332583 will cease to be answered.
  • All communication with the service  must be via email to port.health@liverpool.gov.uk
  • Service requests for ship sanitation inspections and water sampling should be made via email as listed above or via the website https://www.mersey-pha.gov.uk/
  • All emails will be monitored daily (Monday to Friday during office hours) and responded to as quickly as possible.
  • The service will continue to support out of hour’s ship sanitation services as requested.


Any further changes and updates on service provision will be made through normal channels such as PHILIS messaging, Destin8 and by direct email. The website will also be regularly updated.


Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult period. MPHA will endeavour to return to business as usual as soon as practically possible.  “