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Ferries, commercial vessels told to reduce passenger numbers to avoid COVID-19

PortandTerminal.com, April 6, 2020

Ferries and essential passenger vessel operators are to immediately reduce the maximum number of passengers carried on board by half in an effort to comply with physical distancing rules.

OTTAWA — The Canadian Press (CP) is reporting that Canada’s federal government is bringing in further measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 on commercial passenger vessels and ferries.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced that starting Monday all commercial marine vessels with the capacity of 12 or more passengers will stop non-essential activities, such as tourism or recreation.

Ferries and essential passenger vessel operators are to immediately reduce the maximum number of passengers carried on board by half in an effort to comply with physical distancing rules.

Transport Canada says operators will also implement alternative practices to reduce the spread of the virus, such as keeping people in their vehicles.

It says the measures will be in place until at least June 30.

In an effort to protect the North, the department is preventing any Canadian cruise ship from mooring, navigating or transitioning in Canadian Arctic waters and any foreign passenger vessels would have to give 60-days’ notice just to enter the waters.

“These new measures will help reduce the spread of COVID-19, while continuing to support the continued movement of goods through the supply chain, and ensuring Canadians can access their homes, jobs, and essential services in a safe manner,” Garneau said in a news release.

Last month, the federal government deferred the start of the cruise ship season to July 1, 2020.

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