Government of Canada announces the new public health plan for cruise ships

News release

March 7, 2022                           Halifax, Nova Scotia                  Transport Canada

The maritime and tourism sectors have been hit hard by the global COVID-19 pandemic.  Canada is now ready to welcome cruise ships safely back to our waters.

Today in Halifax, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the public health framework the Government of Canada is putting in place to restart cruise ship activity in Canada.

As Canada welcomes the first cruise ships back to Canadian waters in April, Transport Canada, working alongside partners, has developed a comprehensive public health plan for cruise ships, including:

  • Crew and passengers being required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19;
  • Crew and passengers being required to self-monitor for symptoms;
  • Passengers being required to take a COVID-19 molecular test within 72-hours before boarding a cruise ship OR take an antigen test within one day of boarding a cruise ship; and
  • Passengers being required to take a COVID-19 molecular test within 72-hours before arriving in Canada or taking an antigen test within one day of the scheduled arrival.

The Government of Canada is adjusting travel advice for cruise ship travel and continues to advise travellers to proceed with caution.


“As Canadians continue to do their part by stepping up and rolling up their sleeves to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and practising public health measures, our government continues to work hard to restart our economy safely and sustainably. We welcome cruise ships—an important part of our tourism sector—back to Canada, and we will continue working with partners to support this important industry.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“The health and safety of Canadians is our government’s top priority. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, so does our response. Today's announcement is another important step in a measured approach to safely transition into a new phase of Canada's response to the pandemic."

The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino
Minister of Public Safety

“Our government’s actions in the fight against COVID-19 have been based on prudence and science. The return of cruise ships to our ports (or shores) is a further step in Canada’s reopening and a reflection of the progress we have made against this current Omicron variant. As we have said all along, Canada’s border measures will remain flexible and adaptable and we will continue to evaluate our measures to keep Canadians safe.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“The return of cruise ships to Canadian waters will be a welcome boost to the tourism sector and to the Canadian economy as a whole. The cruise industry has worked hard to meet important health standards in order to ensure the safety of their passengers and crews and the communities they visit. The Government of Canada is committed to reopening safely and this public health framework demonstrates that we are ready to restart cruise ship activity in Canada and to welcome travellers once again.”

The Honourable Randy Boissonnault
Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • As of November 1, 2021, the prohibition of cruise ships in Canadian waters was no longer in effect if operators fully complied with public health requirements.

  • Canadians travelling, whether on cruise ships or other modes of transportation, should consult the COVID-19 travel page for the most up-to-date information.

  • Travellers should understand the risks that are still associated with international travel, including travel on cruise ships outside Canada, given the high incidence of Omicron, and take necessary precautions.

  • The cruise ship industry, which represents more than $4 billion annual input into the Canadian economy and directly and indirectly generates approximately 30,000 jobs, is an important part of Canada’s domestic tourism sector.

Associated links


Laurel Lennox
Press Secretary  
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
(343) 549-7892

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
(613) 993-0055

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