To help ensure the safety of passengers and crews on provincial ferries during the COVID-19 pandemic, passengers are now allowed to remain in their vehicles during crossings, as per recommendations from Transport Canada.
Health authorities have urged Canadians to engage in social-distancing in public areas. Temporarily allowing passengers to remain in their vehicles will help prevent further transmission of the virus. However, passengers may still be required to vacate their vehicles prior to departing, as per the captain’s discretion, due to weather conditions and the potential for unsafe travelling conditions.
Crews are also required to maintain additional space between vehicles to allow for easier evacuation of passengers in the event of an emergency. This additional space may result in fewer vehicles for some trips.
Based on advice from Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Newfoundland and Labrador, as of 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, anyone returning after travelling outside the country is required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days upon their return to Canada. Affected ferry passengers will be permitted to travel on provincial ferries to get home, but will be required to be isolated at the terminal and while onboard the ship. Passengers are encouraged to ask ferry crews about self-isolation procedures before boarding.
Provincial ferries all have additional cleaners, sanitizers and soap and ferry captains and crews have been directed to enhance their cleaning schedule between and during crossings and in the evening.
Crews have also been focusing on all high-touch surface areas, such as washroom facilities, hand rails, table tops, door handles, and children’s play areas. Crews are also conducting hourly checks of hand sanitizers, soap, and toilet paper to ensure that they are well stocked at all times.
The Provincial Government continues to monitor and where necessary implement protocols required to contain the virus. For the most up-to-date information related to confirmed cases of COVID-19, please visit www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19. For all inquiries regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic, email COVID19info@gov.nl.ca.
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Transportation and Works