PortandTerminal.com, May 14, 2020
Cruise ships will be allowed to stop for refuelling but passengers not permitted to get off ship
VANCOUVER, BC – Canadian news broadcaster CBC is reporting that health officials in British Columbia have said that passengers will NOT be allowed to disembark if cruise ships arrive at the province’s ports later this summer.
There have been questions over whether Pacific coastal cities including Vancouver, Victoria and Prince Rupert could see the arrival of international cruise ship lines this summer but Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that will not be the case.
“So if a cruise ship somehow had somehow planned to come here, then we would not be allowing people to come off the cruise ship for example,” Henry stated.
Henry said she has spoken to health officials in Yukon, Alaska and Washington State who feel similarly concerned about cruise ships which have seen some of the worst outbreaks of coronavirus.
Safety vs Tourism Dollars?
Banning cruise ships for the season is not an easy decision to take. According to Tourism Vancouver, the cruise ship season made $840 million in 2019 with more than 280 ships arriving at the city’s port.
On March 13, Transport Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada announced as a safety measure to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, that the cruise ship season which normally starts at the beginning of April would be delayed until the beginning of July.
At this point, it is still unclear if the Canadian government will decide to resume the cruise ship season on July 1.
Reconsider taking a cruise
Meanwhile, British Columbia’s Health Minister Adrian Dix also warned people who may be thinking about taking a cruise to reconsider.
“I think if people are planning that kind of travel and I know there are many people who are dedicated fans of cruise ships, going on cruise ship vacations that really all of the evidence tells you this is not the summer for that,” said Dix.
British Columbia, which has a population of just over 5 million people, has seen relatively few coronavirus infections given its size. As of May 14th, there have been 2,376 infections and 132 deaths. The province has about the same population as South Carolina which has registered 7,792 coronavirus infections and 346 deaths.
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