Canada On Thursday, Ottawa said it will allow cruise ships to return to its waters from November as the Covid-19 pandemic fades, but that public health requirements that have not yet been finalized must first be met.
As is known, Canada extended the ban on cruises until February 2022, citing the need to protect public health. Transport Minister Omar Al-Ghubra said in a statement that the ban will now be lifted on November 1, 2021.
“We would welcome the return of cruise ships, an important part of our tourism sector, to Canadian waters for the 2022 season,” he said.
Big news for major carriers who have complained that the Canadian ban is hurting their West Coast businesses.
US law requires foreign-flagged cruise ships sailing from Washington state to Alaska to make a stop in Canada.
However, the country has not yet lifted its ban on non-essential travel with the United States. A Canadian government official said the Al Ghubra announcement would allow both countries to work on ways to safely manage the cruise sector.
“We are working very hard through our embassy, through our officials, and I, through our department, and we are making sure we continue business as usual,” Al-Ghubra said.
On the other hand, he did not indicate when the border between the United States and Canada will be reopened to tourists. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Montreal on Thursday that Ottawa will make an announcement on the next steps to reopen borders in the coming weeks.
A day before the statement, he said, “It would be disastrous and heartbreaking to have to go back to the blockade, as you see some countries now with a sudden increase in the delta variable, because we were very keen to reopen in a few weeks.”