Officials have announced that cruise ships will be allowed in Canadian waters this fall.
Federal Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra and B.C. Transportation Minister Rob Fleming made the announcement Thursday morning at Ogden Point cruise ship terminal in Victoria.
Previously Canada’s cruise ship ban was set to expire in March 2022.
Alghabra now says that with the pandemic improving and a rising vaccination rate, Canada will welcome ships back starting Nov. 1.
They will need to follow public health protocols, but those details are not yet available.
Cruise ships were early hot spots for COVID-19 last year, with hundreds of passengers falling ill and ships being stranded at sea as multiple countries began refusing them in ports.
Cruises generally play a major part in Canada’s tourism industry, contributing $4 billion a year to the economy and employing 30,000 people directly and indirectly.
In Greater Victoria alone, cruise ships help pump in around $180-million into the economy.
Fed minister @OmarAlghabra says Canada committed to maintaining “business as usual” with USA on cruise ships when asked what it is doing about US senate bill to allow cruise ships to permanently bypass Canada.
— Rob Shaw (@RobShaw_BC) July 15, 2021
With files from The Canadian Press.