The Canadian government is banning cruise ships that carry more than 500 people until July 1, 2020, at the earliest, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“There is no immediate solution to allow cruise ships to operate in Canada while adequately containing the public health risk associated with COVID-19, other than delaying the start of the cruise ship season,” Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced in a statement. “We do not take these decisions lightly and will continue to reassess as the situation evolves.”
The cruise season in Canada was to begin April 2. While this measure does not apply to ferries or smaller vessels at this time, the Canadian government is developing an approach to strengthen health measures in all passenger vessels.
Given the limited public health options in Canada’s Northern communities, the cruise ship season in the Canadian Arctic will be deferred for the entire season this year, Garneau said. This would apply to cruise ships of all sizes.
Canadians who are planning to travel abroad are reminded to consult the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories and register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service.
“The health and safety of all Canadians – both those abroad and in Canada – is our top priority. With this delay in allowing cruise ships to dock in our ports, we can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” Health Minister Patti Hajdu said. “We also advise Canadians to avoid all travel on cruise ships because of the ongoing outbreak.”
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