FILE - Tents stand on a wharf near the Grand Princess at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., Monday, March 9, 2020. The cruise ship, which had maintained a holding pattern off the coast for days, was carrying multiple people who tested positive for COVID-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

FILE - Tents stand on a wharf near the Grand Princess at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., Monday, March 9, 2020. The cruise ship, which had maintained a holding pattern off the coast for days, was carrying multiple people who tested positive for COVID-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Canada will ban cruise ships with over 500 people from docking until July

Government also planning to restrict airports that can accept international flights

Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced Friday that no cruise ships carrying more than 500 people will be allowed to dock in Canada until at least July 1.

The restriction will apply to ports in the North for the whole season, because the risk from COVID-19 is greater in more remote communities.

He said the government is also planning to restrict the airports that can accept international flights, so people arriving on them can be more closely screened.

The list of airports that will be included hasn’t been settled yet.

ALSO READ: Parliament suspended, more closures amid COVID-19 recession warning

A Research Co. poll released two days before his announcement found most British Columbians would postpone the start of the cruise ship season in the province altogether.

The online survey, conducted from Mar. 9 to Mar. 11 among 800 B.C. residents, found 82 per cent of respondents agreed with delaying the start of the cruise ship season on account of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Support for the delay was highest on Vancouver Island (92 per cent), followed by Northern BC (89 per cent), the Fraser Valley (85 per cent), Metro Vancouver (82 per cent) and Southern BC (71 per cent).

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