The Canadian government has decided to extend its ban on large cruise ships until October 31, effectively cancelling the summer cruise season.
Q13Fox.com reports that Canada's Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced the no-sail order on Friday in an attempt to stem the vessels' contribution to the spread of coronavirus in the country. The order will apply to cruise ships that have overnight accommodations for 100 passengers and crew.
The order will not apply to smaller cruise ships, which the report indicates will be able to operate as of July 1 with the permission of provincial and regional health officials.
Garneau acknowledged that the prohibition could cause significant hardship for communities that depend on cruising for their livelihood. In 2019, the report says, over 2 million visitors arrived at Canadian ports on cruise ships and likely contributed upwards of $3 billion Canadian dollars to the country's economy (based on 2016 figures).
A particularly disturbing quote came from Mike Cochrane, CEO of Prince Edward Island's Charlottetown Harbour Authority who said, “The human impact is dramatic, there’s no question about it...To see it all come to a halt, it’s a very sad day for us.
The report indicates that the federal government is looking into ways to assist affected communities.