Feb. 4 (UPI) — The Canadian government on Thursday extended its ban on cruise operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the beginning of 2022.
Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra announced a pair of orders extending bans on cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people in all Canadian waters and pleasure craft carrying more than 12 people in the Canadian Arctic until Feb. 28, 2022.
The ban on both types of travel was originally set to expire at the end of this month.
“As Canadians continue to do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, our government continues to work hard to ensure Canada’s transportation system remains safe,” Alghabra said. “Temporary prohibitions to cruise vessels and pleasure craft are essential to continue to protect the most vulnerable among our communities and avoid overwhelming our health care systems. This is the right and responsible thing to do.”
Those who fail to comply with the pleasure craft ban can face penalties of $5,000 per day for individuals or $25,000 per day for groups or corporations while violating the cruise vessel ban could result in a fine of up to $1 million and/or 18 months in prison.
In addition to the cruise ban, a ban on travel between Canada, the United States and Mexico originally put in place following the onset of the pandemic in March is set to remain in effect through Feb. 21.