Message to U.S. Citizens in Canada: New Restrictions on Passenger Vessels
April 6, 2020
Event: COVID-19 Update: New Restrictions on Passenger Vessels
- To slow the spread of COVID-19, on April 5, 2020, Transport Canada issued measures limiting access to all Canadian waters by “passenger vessels” carrying more than 12 passengers “engaged in activities of an optional or discretionary nature”, including tourism and recreation (e.g. short-term cruises, tour boats and sight-seeing vessels)
- The new regulations also prevent any Canadian cruise ship from mooring, navigating, or transiting in Canadian Arctic waters (including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast).
- Should any foreign passenger vessel seek to enter Arctic waters, they would need to give the Minister of Transport 60 days notice and be subject to any conditions the Minister determines necessary to ensure the protection of marine personnel and local communities.
- Ferries and passenger vessels that provide essential services will continue to operate but must adopt mitigation measures, require ferries and essential passenger vessel operators to:
- Immediately reduce by 50% the maximum number of passengers that may be carried on board (conduct half-load voyages) to support the two-meter physical distancing rule; or
- Implement alternative practices to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 (consistent with Public Health Agency of Canada guidelines) among passengers on board their vessels, such as keeping people in their vehicles, when feasible or enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures.
- In addition to these measures, Transport Canada is issuing guidelines to ferry operators respecting health screening for all passengers before boarding to better protect their employees and passengers. These guidelines are based on advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- The new measures preventing vessel activity do not apply to:·
- Essential passenger vessels such as ferries, water taxis, and medical-use vessels;
- Cargo vessels, barges, work boats, fishing vessels and other commercial vessels who operate to support resupply operations and the movement of goods through Canada’s supply chain;
- Canadian commercial passenger vessels, without passengers, moving for repairs or repositioning;
- Canadian commercial passenger vessels that are not in service; and
- Pleasure craft (e.g. non-commercial vessels).
- The measures will remain in place at least until June 30 overall and until October 31 for Arctic waters.
- Please see the full announcement at Transport Canada by clicking here.
Actions to Take:
Keep STEP Enrollment Active—
- Encourage U.S. citizen friends and family to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so the U.S. Embassy and Consulates can contact them with updated information. If you plan to remain in Canada beyond your previously planned travel dates, remember to modify your STEP profile in order to continue to receive information and emergency alerts.
Monitor the following U.S. Government websites—
- Embassy webpage for information on conditions in Canada.
- Travel Restrictions Fact Sheet for information on COVID-19 Related Travel Restrictions across the U.S. Borders with Canada and Mexico.
- CDC website for the most up-to-date health information.
- COVID-19 page on travel.state.gov for the latest travel information.
- Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the latest travel restrictions for entry into the United States.
- Travel.state.gov Canada Information and Travel Advisory page for Canada specific information.
Monitor the following Canadian Government websites—
- Public Health Agency of Canada for information on the Canadian government’s response to COVID-19.
- Canada Border Services Agency for all information on entry and exit requirements to Canada.
Monitor the following additional suggested websites—
- Airlines, buses, trains, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
Follow us on—
For Assistance: The U.S. Embassy and Consulate Generals are continually monitoring the current situation in Canada and continue to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens.
U.S. Consulate General Montreal
1134, Rue Ste-Catherine West
Montreal, QC H3B 1H4
Telephone: +1 (514) 398-9695
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (416) 645-9124
Fax: +1 (514) 398-9748
U.S. Consulate General Toronto
360 University Ave
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1S4
Telephone: +1 (416) 595-1700
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (416) 595-6506
Fax: +1 (416) 595-5466
U.S. Consulate General Vancouver
1075 West Pender Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Telephone: +1 (604) 685-4311
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (604) 685-4311
Fax: +1 (604) 685-7175
U.S. Consulate General Halifax
Purdy’s Wharf Tower II
1969 Upper Water Street, Suite 904
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3R7
Telephone: +1 (902) 429-2480
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (902) 429-2480, Press 1
Fax: +1 (902) 423-6861
U.S. Consulate General Quebec
2, rue de la Terrasse Dufferin
(Vieux Quebec, behind Chateau Frontenac)
Quebec, Quebec G1R 4T9
Telephone: +1 (418) 692-2095
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (418) 692-2096
Fax: +1 (418) 692-4640