OTTAWA, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Canada announced on Thursday to extend its ban on cruise ships in Canadian waters for one more year to 2022.
The ban, which was imposed last February and scheduled to end at the end of this month, has been extended to Feb. 28, 2022.
Under the ban, cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people are prohibited from operating in Canadian waters, as well as adventure-seeking pleasure crafts operating in the country's Arctic waters, except for those used by residents in the region.
Those who do not comply with the pleasure craft prohibition could be subject to penalties: 5,000 Canadian dollars per day for individuals and 25,000 Canadian dollars per day for groups or corporations.
"As Canadians continue to do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, our government continues to work hard to ensure Canada's transportation system remains safe," said Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra in a news release on Thursday.
"Temporary prohibitions to cruise vessels and pleasure craft are essential to continue to protect the most vulnerable among our communities and avoid overwhelming our health care systems. This is the right and responsible thing to do," the minister added.
The minister also advised Canadian citizens and permanent residents to avoid all travel on cruise ships outside Canada until further notice.