With the global COVID-19 pandemic continuing unabated, the federal government moved on Friday to extend its ban on the operation of cruise ships in Canadian waters to protect coastal communities.
Cruise ships carrying more than 100 passengers won’t be able to dock at any of Canada’s ports until at least Oct. 31, Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced Friday.
All other passenger vessels will have to follow regional health authority rules when it comes to timelines, said Garneau.
Passenger vessels with the capacity to carry more than 12 persons continue to be prohibited from entering Canada’s Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast until Oct. 31, 2020, the minister said.
However, these restrictions do not apply to pleasure craft used by local communities, or used for purposes such as essential transportation or subsistence fishing, harvesting and hunting, Garneau added.
In addition, beginning July 1, 2020, passenger vessels will be allowed to operate in inland rivers and lakes in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.
Those who do not comply with the prohibitions could be subject to a penalty of $5,000 per day for an individual and $25,000 per day for a corporation.
In March, Ottawa had announced a ban on cruise ships carrying more than 500 passengers until July 1.