A federal ban on cruise ships that was initially slated to end this month has now been extended until February 2021, it was announced today.
In making the announcement, Canada’s Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, cited “the ongoing situation with COVID-19.”
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The ban means that cruise ships with overnight accommodations carrying more than 100 people continue to be prohibited from operating in Canadian waters.
As well, passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people continue to be prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast. All other passenger vessels must continue following provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority guidance.
Passenger vessels deemed “essential” – such as such as ferries and water taxis – should continue following federal guidance, provincial, territorial, local and regional protocols, the government said.
“The Government of Canada is working hard to ensure Canada’s transportation system remains safe,” said Garneau. “The extension of these temporary measures for cruise ships and other passenger vessels in Canada reflects our ongoing work with all levels of government, transportation industry stakeholders, and Indigenous peoples to help ensure appropriate measures are in place.”
The temporary measures for cruise ships and pleasure crafts, initially announced on March 19, 2020, and May 30, 2020, were scheduled to end on October 31, 2020.
Those who do not comply with the prohibition could be subject to penalties: $5,000 per day for individuals and $25,000 per day for corporations.
In Canada’s Arctic waters, these restrictions do not apply to crafts used by local communities for essential transportation, subsistence fishing, harvesting and hunting.
There is no national ban for smaller cruise ships certified to carry 100 or less passengers and crew. They too must follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority protocols for timelines and processes around their operations.