Health and Safety
What health and safety measures are in place when travelling with Marine Atlantic during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Marine Atlantic’s goal is to promote a safe and healthy environment for its customers and employees. To that end, we are:
- Reducing the total number of passengers travelling on each crossing.
- Completing a health screening of all customers prior to travel.
- Requiring physical distancing while on the terminal property & on the vessels.
Am I required to be vaccinated to travel with Marine Atlantic?
Your health and safety is our highest priority. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to reduce the further spread of COVID-19 and its variants in Canada, including the more infectious Delta variant. Fully vaccinated individuals are less likely to be infected or to transmit infection to others. Marine Atlantic recognizes the importance of vaccination to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 while continuing to provide an essential service to the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Marine Atlantic operates an essential service with voyages of less than 24 hours therefore passengers are not required by the Government of Canada mandate to be vaccinated to use the service. We strongly encourage you to consider vaccination before travel as the best protection against the virus.
All customers are required to participate in screening activities and follow all procedures in place while on our property to protect health and safety and mitigate against the spread of COVID-19.
Will passengers undergo health screening before the crossing?
Yes, passengers must fill out a Marine Atlantic COVID-19 screening questionnaire prior to travel. Other screening processes or requirements may be required by public health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador or Nova Scotia based on current guidelines in the specific province. Any passengers showing potential signs of COVID-19 will be denied passage.
What should I do as a passenger to protect my health during my travel with Marine Atlantic?
- Stay home if you are feeling unwell to avoid the spread of illness.
- Regularly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your face
- Cough or sneeze into your sleeve
- Practice physical distancing and isolation measures
- Wear a face mask/face covering
Face Mask Requirements
Does Marine Atlantic require passengers to wear face masks during the crossing?
Yes. Passengers will be required to wear a non-medical face mask while in public areas in the terminal and onboard the vessel. Those passengers not wearing a face mask will not be permitted to travel, unless they present a valid medical certificate. Passengers are responsible for supplying their own face mask. Please note, face shields and face coverings are not accepted as an alternative. Please visit the Government of Canada's website for information regarding the use of face masks, and the most effective types to wear.
Will Marine Atlantic permit passengers to stay in their vehicles during the crossing as part of physical distancing?
No. Due to Government of Canada regulations and the nature of Marine Atlantic’s ferry service, there are safety challenges to allowing passengers to remain in their vehicles during the crossing. These challenges include:
- The ferry crossing will be a minimum of 6 hours in duration.
- Vehicle decks could create a challenging environment for passenger comfort and safety. Due to emission regulations, passengers will not be permitted to start their engines as they are in an enclosed vehicle deck during the crossing.
- Sea state conditions in the Cabot Strait may expose passengers to additional risk of injury.
- There are no washroom facilities on the vehicle decks. Individuals who require the use of washrooms would need to walk through the vehicle decks and stairwells in potentially rough conditions.
Will I have to stay in my cabin or seating area?
No, passengers have the option to move about the vessel. Seating in all areas will be limited to accommodate physical distancing measures. All passengers are required to maintain physical distancing and wear masks when moving about the vessel.
Will I be able to walk around inside the vessel?
Movement around the vessel is permitted. Passengers can expect some areas to have occupancy limits, to be closed for cleaning or restricted for operational use during the voyage. There is directional signage to assist with traffic flow and promote physical distancing. All passengers are required to maintain physical distancing and wear masks when moving about the vessel.
Will I be able to access the outside decks?
Yes, passengers can go outside. All passengers are required to maintain physical distancing and wear masks when moving about the vessel and while on outside decks.
Will I be able to visit the kennels?
Passengers with reserved spots can access the kennel and visit their pets throughout the voyage. Occupancy limits must be observed. All passengers are required to maintain physical distancing and wear masks when moving about the vessel.
Will I be able to go outside to smoke?
Passengers can access the designated outside smoking area on deck 7. Smoking is not permitted in any other locations. Occupancy limits and physical distancing must be observed in the smoking area. All passengers are required to maintain physical distancing and wear masks when moving about the vessel.
I wasn’t able to reserve a cabin during the booking process. Are cabin waitlists available?
During the summer season, our cabins are in very high demand and book up very quickly, resulting in limited cabin and waitlist availability. We encourage you to check back before your crossing to determine whether availability has changed.
Why is reserved seating not available?
Passengers will be assigned to this area by employees based upon physical distancing requirements upon boarding the vessel.
Will gift shops and bars be open during the crossing?
No, Marine Atlantic is not offering gift shop or bar service at this time.
Will there be food service available?
Limited food service options are available. While not all restaurants are open, we have a selection of convenient take-away options for passengers. View our available menu.
Are televisions available during the crossing?
Unfortunately, some televisions are currently out of service throughout the vessel, including in cabins. We are working to upgrade the entertainment system on the MV Blue Puttees and MV Highlanders and look forward to providing you with a new experience in the coming months. We encourage customers to consider downloading entertainment options before sailing or visit our PressReader hotspot at the terminal to download a variety of publications to be used during the crossing.
Will there be live entertainment on the vessels?
Due to the nature of COVID-19, and our focus on promoting physical distancing, Marine Atlantic will not be offering live entertainment on the vessel this year. Seating areas with televisions will be available with physical distancing measures in place.
Will I be able to go inside the terminals?
Yes. Please note that the number of people allowed in the terminal at any one time may be limited based on current public health guidelines.
Will there be food service available at the Argentia terminal?
The cafeteria at the Argentia terminal will not be open but vending machines with a variety of snacks are available.
Will there be Canadian Food Inspectors at the Port aux Basques and Argentia terminals as per previous years?
Yes, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will inspect all vehicles leaving Port aux Basques and Argentia to remove soil that is considered harmful to potato crops outside of Newfoundland and Labrador.