New limits on international flights, ferries and cruise: Garneau

TORONTO — Federal Minister of Transport Marc Garneau has announced a restriction on international flights into Canada, limiting them to a smaller number of airports to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Garneau did not specify which airports would be affected by the announcement.

“Overseas international flights coming into Canada are going to be restricted to a smaller number of airports, we’re working out the specific airports at this time,” he said at a press conference in Ottawa on Friday.

“But we believe that this is a precaution that we should take so that we concentrate overseas international passengers coming into Canada to a smaller number of airports and we’ll have more details on that very shortly.”

Meanwhile, cruise ships or ferries carrying more than 500 people will not be allowed to stop in Canada until July 1, when the restriction will be revisited.

“As you know the cruise ship season begins at the beginning of April here in Canada,” Garneau said.

“We will be reexamining the situation after the 30th of June, or in anticipation, if things have improved, and at that moment we’ll make a decision about whether we can allow the cruise ship season to resume.”

He added that additional health measures would be put in place on smaller ships, but did not specify what they would be.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, advised Canadians to avoid cruise ships on March 9.

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