Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, during a press conference early Friday, announced that the cruise ships will not be allowed to dock in Canadian ports until at least July 1 amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The ban includes all ships carrying more than 500 people and comes just before what would have been the start of the season for some of the country’s busiest cruise ports including Port of Vancouver, which is the departure port for a lot of Alaskan sailings, Victoria, Nanaimo, and more.
According to Canada’s Transport Minister Marc Garneau, the government will re-examine the ban starting after June 30.
In a statement reacting to the news, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, which represents Victoria’s busiest cruise ports, said that it respects “the decision by the Government of Canada in putting health and safety of Canadians first. We will work to engage with our cruise partners and terminal operators to comply with the decision.”
“In dealing with the impact of COVID-19, the health and safety of everyone is always our top concern. While this will have a negative economic impact on our organization and numerous small businesses and operators in Greater Victoria, we ask that Victorians continue to support dialogue, collaboration, and community through these unprecedented times.”