The federal government of Canada has just announced a new public health plan for cruise ships – with the country’s cruise ship season due to begin next month (April). Most countries reopened for cruising last year and have already dropped most restrictions that Canada is now just announcing.
The nation’s Transport Minister, Omar Alghabra, laid out the plan yesterday (7 March) at the port of Halifax – accompanied by the city’s MP, Andy Filmore, and the Port’s President Captain Allan Gray.
What Does The New Public Health Plan Say?
With the Covid-19 pandemic moving into its third year, Alghabra revealed the details of Canada’s new public health plan yesterday morning (7 March) – which requires all passengers and crew to have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to step foot onto a cruise ship.
Such individuals must also ensure that they continually self-monitor themselves for any Covid symptoms.
Here are the full details of Transport Canada’s comprehensive public health plan – which cruise ships must adhere to at all times.
- All crew and passengers must have received their full vaccination against Covid-19
- All crew and passengers are required to self-monitor for any Covid-9 symptoms
- All passengers are required to undergo Covid-19 testing prior to boarding a cruise ship – by either taking a Covid-19 molecular test (within 72-hours before boarding) or a rapid-antigen test (within 24-hours of boarding).
- All passengers – arriving into Canada – are required to take a Covid-19 molecular test (within 72-hours before arrival) or a rapid-antigen test (within 24-hours of arrival).
However, with all passengers and crew required to be fully vaccinated before boarding a cruise ship, there are some individuals who may be exempt from this – including:
- children under the age of 12 – although the majority of cruise lines are requiring children, aged 5 and above, to show proof of vaccine before boarding
- individuals that can show proof of a medical contraindication
- individuals that have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 due to their religious beliefs – this exemption only applies to those who have the right to enter Canada, such as Canadian nationals, as well as those who board a cruise liner inside the country.
All cruise ship companies are required to inspect people’s proof of vaccination, as well as continually monitor and report the Covid-19 test results of all individuals that step foot on – and off – their ships.
And, when arriving into Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency will not allow any passenger or crew member to disembark a cruise ship unless they meet all of the requirements – as set out in the new public health plan for cruise ships.
Alghabra set out the above measures, and explained that the Canadian government “continues to work hard to restart” the nation’s economy in a “safe” and “sustainable” way.
Covid-19 has devastated tourism – worldwide – throughout the last two years, including the cruise ship industry – which brings revenue of around $4 billion to the Canadian economy, as well as generating jobs for thousands of people.
Cruise Ships Set To Return To Canadian Waters Next Month
And, with the country’s cruise ship season – which usually runs from April to November – due to begin in just a few weeks, cruise ship companies will be pleased to hear the news that they can now safely welcome back passengers as they look to restart their services.
Just last month (February), Holland America announced that they will be expanding their cruise ship service next year – which will see six ships sailing to Alaska from April, 2023.
The President of the Holland America Line – Gus Antorcha – described the announcement of the new health plan as a “positive step for everyone who loves to travel to these regions and for all of the businesses in Canada that we support through tourism.”
Canada is set to welcome the Caribbean Princess to its port in Victoria, British Columbia on 6 April – which will be the first cruise liner to set sail to the country since 2019.
Just last month (February) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. removed its level 4 ‘do not travel’ advisory to ‘avoid all cruises’.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories