Measures to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19 on Passenger Vessels and Ferries - SSB No.: 12/2020 (modified June 30, 2020)

RDIMS No .: 16451043
Date (Y-M-D) : 2020-04-17

 
We issue Ship Safety Bulletins for the marine community. Visit our Website at www.tc.gc.ca/ssb-bsn to view existing bulletins and to sign up to receive e-mail notices of new ones.

This bulletin replaces Ship Safety Bulletin No. 10/2020

Purpose

This bulletin outlines measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on board essential passenger vessels and ferries. These practices must be implemented by essential passenger vessels and ferries that continue to operate, under restrictions, during the pandemic.

Scope

This bulletin applies to Essential Passenger Vessels:

Background

Under restrictions set by Transport Canada to reduce the spread of COVID-19, passenger vessels that are certified to carry more than 100 persons (including passengers and crew) AND are equipped with overnight capacity for passengers (bunks, cabins, etc.) are prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020. Vessels certified to carry more than 12 passengers will be prohibited from entering Canadian Arctic waters (waters north of the 60th parallel, including the territorial sea in the vicinity of Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador coast), also until October 31, 2020.

Essential Passenger Vessels must:

  1. make reasonable efforts to implement and put in place measures to prevent the spread of COVID 19 in Transport Canada publication COVID-19: Guidance Material for Essential Passenger Vessel and Ferry Operators, including notifying passengers before boarding that they may be subject to a health check and requiring that passengers use a face covering to cover their mouth/nose, for use at times during their journey when they cannot physically distance from one another (e.g., in washrooms or other common areas).

They must also:

  • immediately reduce by 50% the maximum number of passengers that may be carried on board (conduct half-load voyages); OR
  • if no reduction in passengers, implement alternative practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as set out in this bulletin (consistent with Public Health Agency of Canada guidelines) among passengers on board their vessels.

Measures to reduce transmission risk

For all Essential Passenger Vessels who do not reduce passenger load by 50%, the operator will need to demonstrate and confirm with Transport Canada (via email to the CMAC Secretariat at cmac-ccmc@tc.gc.ca) that appropriate mitigation measures are in place, based on the most recent advice provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada, such as:

  • requesting that passengers stay in their vehicles on open car decks for the duration of the transit;
  • requiring that passengers use a face covering to cover their mouth/nose, for use at times during their journey when they cannot physically distance from others (e.g., in washrooms or other common areas);
  • encouraging passengers to wash their hands before boarding the vessel;
  • ensuring there are facilities to allow all passengers and crew to wash their hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds;
  • ensuring there is alcohol-based hand sanitizer (or equivalent) available to all passengers and crew;
  • enforcing mandatory physical distancing for all passengers on board (e.g., by eliminating entertainment events and anything else that would impact a 2 metre between passenger distancing rule);
  • putting in place immediate reporting and mandatory isolation of anyone showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, shortness of breath, or fever equal to or greater than 38°C, or signs of fever, e.g. shivering, flushed skin, excessive sweating). In the case of overnight vessels, at least 20% of their capacity must be carried as empty berths to allow for isolation;
  • eliminating all prepared meals, buffets, restaurants and canteens;
  • eliminating the practice of “hot bunking”, where more than one crew member is assigned to a single bunk;
  • working with terminal operators to provide additional space for walk-on passengers waiting to embark/disembark; and
  • increasing medical capacity where practical (e.g., for those vessels that regularly carry medical staff, this would mean increasing the number of medical staff on board).

Passenger announcements:

In addition to the requirements under the Ministerial Interim Order, Transport Canada is requesting that the crew of a passenger vessel or ferry vessel read out the announcement provided in Annex A before boarding, and the message provided in Annex B once passengers are on-board the vessel. Where this is not feasible, the operator should post equivalent signage.

Annex A: Pre-boarding announcement To Be Adopted Based on Local Measures

In order to manage the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada, along with the provinces and territories have put in place recommended practices.

Prior to boarding this vessel you may be requested to undergo a health check. This will involve answering a few simple questions to which you must answer truthfully.

During the voyage, you could be asked to wear a face covering that covers your mouth and nose when you are outside your vehicle and in situations where you cannot maintain two metres of physical separation.

When arriving at your destination, you may be subject to further measures taken by the municipal, provincial or territorial government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As a reminder, no person should board a vessel when they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Should symptoms such as a fever, cough or difficulty breathing develop while on-board, please notify the vessel crew immediately.

Annex B: On-board announcement To Be Adopted Based on Local Measures

In light of the global pandemic related to COVID-19, the Government of Canada, in cooperation with provincial/territorial public health authorities, has put in place important measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

During this voyage, you are advised to wear a face covering that covers your mouth and nose when you are outside your vehicle and in situations where you cannot maintain two metres of physical separation.

Please be advised that many provinces and territories are asking travelers, with some exceptions for essential services, to self-isolate and monitor themselves for symptoms to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

Travelers are reminded to stay informed about COVID-19 measures that apply in the region where they are heading, and obtain updates from their national, provincial and territorial health authorities.

Keywords

1. Coronavirus
2. Passenger
3. Alternative practices

Questions concerning this Bulletin should be addressed to:

AMSR

Transport Canada
Marine Safety and Security
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street, 11th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

Contact us at: Email: marinesafety-securitemaritime@tc.gc.ca or Telephone: 1-855-859-3123 (Toll Free).