Canada Extends Cruise Ship Ban Through February As U.S. Lifts 'No-Sail' Order
Canada has extended its ban on cruise ships until Feb. 28, 2021.
Cruise ships that have overnight accommodations for more than 100 people will not be allowed to operate in Canadian waters during the ban.
“As Canadians are doing their part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada is working hard to ensure Canada’s transportation system remains safe," Canadian Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said in an announcement. "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."
Additionally, “Adventure-seeking pleasure craft” and passenger ships with more than 12 people are banned from entering Canada’s Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, and the Labrador Coast. The ban does not apply to cruise ships with fewer than 100 people onboard nor to Arctic ships used for essential transportation, fishing, harvesting, and hunting.
The ban has been in effect since March 19, 2020.
Vessels including ferries and water taxis must follow local rules like social distancing, mask-wearing, and enhanced cleaning.
Those who do not comply are subject to fines up to $5,000 for an individual and $25,000 for a corporation.
The ban was scheduled to end Oct. 31 but was extended for four more months to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the U.S. ban on cruise ships expired over the weekend and large cruise ships are once again permitted in American waters. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a new “Conditional Sail” Order that began a “phased resumption of cruise ship operations.” Among other new rules, cruise ships will be required to establish thorough COVID-19 testing procedures for passengers and crew and operate with limited capacity.
Even though some cruise lines may resume service, others have canceled itineraries well into 2021. Carnival Cruise Line CEO Arnold Donald said cruise ships likely won’t be at full capacity again until at least 2022.