Monday morning, in one of Canada’s pre-pandemic busiest cruise ports, the minister of Transport Omar Alghabra, announced the public health framework the Government of Canada is putting in place to restart cruise ship activity in Canada in 2022.
Ottawa is dropping its advice for Canadians to avoid cruise travel. Instead, it has adjusted its guidance to a lower-risk advisement to “proceed with caution.”
In addition, in collaboration with stakeholders, the federal government has developed a comprehensive public health plan for cruise ships, including:
- Crew and passengers being required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19;
- Crew and passengers being required to self-monitor for symptoms;
- Passengers being required to take a COVID-19 molecular test within 72-hours before boarding a cruise ship OR take an antigen test within one day of boarding a cruise ship; and
- Passengers being required to take a COVID-19 molecular test within 72-hours before arriving in Canada or taking an antigen test within one day of the scheduled arrival.
“We welcome cruise ships—an important part of our tourism sector—back to Canada, and we will continue working with partners to support this important industry,” said Alghabra in making the announcement.
Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos added, “The return of cruise ships to our ports (or shores) is a further step in Canada’s reopening and a reflection of the progress we have made against this current Omicron variant. As we have said all along, Canada’s border measures will remain flexible and adaptable and we will continue to evaluate our measures to keep Canadians safe.”
The government acknowledged the cruise ship industry represents more than $4 billion annual input into the Canadian economy and directly and indirectly generates approximately 30,000 jobs.
“The return of cruise ships to Canadian waters will be a welcome boost to the tourism sector and to the Canadian economy as a whole. The cruise industry has worked hard to meet important health standards in order to ensure the safety of their passengers and crews and the communities they visit. The Government of Canada is committed to reopening safely and this public health framework demonstrates that we are ready to restart cruise ship activity in Canada and to welcome travellers once again,” said minister of Tourism Randy Boissonnault.