The City of Victoria will ask the city’s harbour authority to suspend all cruise ship traffic to and from the Port of Victoria in the wake of COVID-19 fears.
City Council endorsed a motion Thursday, put forward by councillor Ben Isitt, to ask Transport Canada and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to cancel all scheduled visits to the city indefinitely.
The grounds of Isitt’s endorsed motion are based on the statement made by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry that the cruising season in the province should be postponed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
The season is was set to begin on April 3 with the arrival of the Grand Princess, however, earlier Thursday, Princess Cruises announced that they were going to be suspending global service for the next 60 days.
Along with the Grand, there were two other ships from the Princess fleet that were scheduled to dock in Victoria between March 12 and May 10.
Isitt’s resolution also pointed to growing concerns from the Victoria community with the arrival of international ships and thousands of visitors.
Now that the motion has been endorsed by council, the City of Victoria will call upon the Government of Canada and the GVHA, the two bodies that will make the ultimate decision, to consider postponement.
Outside of the cruising industry, travelling restrictions are starting to be implemented. Air Canada has temporarily cancelled service to outbreak epicenters like China and Italy, while President Donald Trump has banned travel from Europe to the United States.