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Canada lifting cruise ship ban earlier than planned

Published on Friday, July 16, 2021
The Government of Canada has surprised the industry by unexpectedly announcing it is cutting short its long cruise ban.

It was originally due to run until February 2022 but will now come to an end on 1 November 2021. Then cruise ships will be allowed in Canada waters ‘if operators are able to fully comply with public health requirements’ Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said. “We will welcome cruise ships–an important part of our tourism sector–back in Canadian waters for the 2022 season,” he said.

The cruise industry is worth more than £4 billion to the Canadian economy annually. “We know that cruise ship passengers want a Canadian experience in British Columbia, and we know that British Columbians want to welcome them to our cities when it is safe to do so,” said B.C. Minister of Transportation Rob Fleming.

Restrictions were first announced in March 2020 when ships carrying more than 500 passengers were forbidden from docking in Canada. The ban was later amended to forbid all ships carrying 100 passengers or more. It decided to allow cruises earlier than expected due to falling Covid infections and growing vaccination rates on both sides of the US-Canada border.

However the Canadian government is still advising Canadians to avoid all travel on cruise ships internationally, Alghabra said.