Frequently Asked Questions
What is Marine Atlantic’s Plan to deal with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak?
Marine Atlantic’s goal is to promote a safe and healthy environment for its passengers and employees. We continue to work with health professionals and adjust our operational policies and procedures, as required.
Effective April 1:
- There will be a passenger limit of 100 per crossing.
- Customers who arrive at our terminals are being asked a series of questions to determine their suitability to travel. Any passengers showing potential signs of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or sore throat) will be denied passage.
- All passengers will be required to self-isolate on our vessels.
- Restaurant service will no longer be offered on the vessels (retail shops, snack bars and bar service have already been closed). A pre-packaged box lunch will be provided to all customers.
These changes will allow crew to more effectively establish isolation areas upon the vessel and promote social distancing as recommended by health care professionals.
What advice do you have for customers?
Marine Atlantic continues to work with the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as health authorities in both Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. The best advice at this time from health care professionals is to:
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching the face.
- Avoid contact with those who are sick.
- Cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
- Stay home if you are sick to avoid the spread of illness.
- Practice social distancing.
Do customers have to take any extra precautions?
Yes, customers are encouraged to utilize appropriate hygiene, wash hands regularly, avoid touching their face, and practice social distancing. The Provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have both introduced regulations regarding interprovincial travel, including self-isolation guidelines. Additional information regarding each province’s requirements are available on the government websites.
Will passengers undergo any extra screening before the crossing?
Yes, customers will be screened at the time of check-in to determine their suitability to travel. Any passengers showing potential signs of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or sore throat) will be denied passage.
How is Marine Atlantic enforcing the isolation measures?
Our goal is to provide all passengers and employees with a healthy and safe environment.
As such, we have implemented screening measures and isolation areas at our terminals and onboard our vessels. These measures will be strictly enforced.
COVID-19 is a significant public health risk and we are asking customers to help us provide a healthy and safe environment for everyone.
Passengers must stay in the appropriate isolation areas for the duration of their travel. Passengers who refuse to comply with self-isolation directives may be denied passage or detained for additional investigation by authorities.
Will customers who are presenting with cold/flu symptoms be allowed to travel?
Any passengers showing potential signs of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or sore throat) will be denied passage.
What will happen if someone presents symptoms during a crossing?
Customers who arrive at our terminals are being asked a series of questions to determine their suitability to travel. If a customer begins exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 during a crossing, they are asked to advise a crew member so that we may take the appropriate precautions to protect the health and safety of the customer, other passengers and employees.
Are there any medical personnel onboard the vessels to help someone if they get sick?
Marine Atlantic’s crews are highly trained in first aid response. Should an emergency situation be presented during a crossing, a request will be made for medical personnel assistance. If there is an emergency situation, our vessels increase speed to arrive as quickly as possible to a hospital in our port communities.
Will Marine Atlantic permit customers to stay in their vehicles during the crossing as part of social distancing?
Due to the nature of Marine Atlantic’s ferry service, there are health and safety challenges to allowing customers 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 are not heated and could create a challenging environment for passenger comfort and safety. Due to emission regulations, customers 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 would 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 food and beverage services be offered on the vessel?
We have made a number of operational and business changes in response to COVID-19. Customers are advised that restaurant service, snack bars, bar service and retail shops, will not be offered on the vessels. A pre-packaged box lunch will be provided to all customers.
Is it possible that Marine Atlantic could stop carrying passengers and only carry supplies during a pandemic?
As an essential service, Marine Atlantic is committed to meeting the transportation needs of our passenger and commercial traffic. Should additional operational changes be required in the days and weeks ahead, that information will be communicated to passengers and the public.
I heard I have to self-isolate if I travel between provinces. Is that true? How do I do it?
The Provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have both introduced regulations regarding interprovincial travel, including self-isolation guidelines. Additional information regarding each province’s requirements are available on the government websites.
Will I be permitted to travel through Nova Scotia to reach the ferry terminal?
Nova Scotia has established inspectors at its points of entry to provide information to those entering the province. Customers travelling to the Marine Atlantic terminal are permitted to transit through the province.