Cruise ships that carry more than 100 people will be prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until at least Oct. 31st, Ottawa has announced, squashing any hope of a summer cruise ship season from happening.
Canada's federal government originally announced it was temporarily barring all ships and ferries that carry more than 500 people from docking in Canada until July 1st.
The restriction was introduced to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, and now, Transport Minister Marc Garneau has extended that ban by four months.
Some ships may still be able operate, however, pending they meet provincial health guidelines.
Starting July 1st, cruise ships that have an overnight capacity for fewer than 100 passengers or day cruise vessels can operate within the directives of provincial, territorial, and municipal health authority guidelines.
Canada's Arctic is another story.
Passenger vessels capable of carrying more than 12 people will continue to be banned from entering Arctic coastal waters until Oct. 31st (however, passenger vessels can begin sailing on inland rivers and lakes in the territories as of July 1st).
Water taxis, passenger ferries and other essential vessels in other waters are allowed to continue operating under current mitigation measures, such as reducing capacity.
"COVID-19 is still a very serious threat," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his daily press briefing on Friday (May 29th). "But with the right plan and with the right investments, we will weather this storm together."
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