On April 6, Canada enacted new restrictions on passenger vessels entering Canadian waters in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These new travel limits to Canada by passenger vessels will remain in place at least until June 30, 2020, and until October 31 for Arctic waters, and are in addition to limits on essential business travel implemented in March. Additional restrictions were placed on ferry vessels.
The new restrictions limit access by non-essential passenger vessels:
- carrying more than 12 people
- engaged in activities of an optional or discretionary nature such a cruise boats, tour boats and sight-seeing vessels
Ferries and Essential Service Vessels
Ferries and passenger vessels that provide essential services can continue to operate but must:
- reduce occupancy by 50% the maximum number of passengers
- support the two-meter physical distancing rule
- alternatively, keep people in their vehicles when feasible
- implement enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures
Essential passenger vessels such as ferries, water taxis, and medical-use vessels are not required to follow the new restrictions. Also exempted from the new regulations are:
- Cargo vessels, barges, workboats, 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
Canadian cruise ships cannot moor, navigate, or transit in Canadian Arctic waters (including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast) until October 31, 2020, at the earliest. In March, Canada changed the start of the cruise ship season from April 2 to July 1, 2020, at the earliest.
Foreign vessels that want to enter Canada's Arctic waters must provide 60 days notice and are subject to conditions set forth by the Minister of Transport.
If you have questions about your immigration application, your eligibility for your or your team to cross the U.S. / Canada border on business, or other immigration issues during the coronavirus restrictions or for post-restriction business, contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email [email protected].