Chi-Cheemaun Passengers No Longer Limited To Essential Travel

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Media Release

Effective Friday June 12, concurrent with Ontario’s Stage 2 regional reopening, MS Chi-Cheemaun passengers will no longer be screened for or limited by purpose of travel.

Further, in response to the impact COVID-19 continues to have on international travel, Chi-Cheemaun’s 2020 summer sailing schedule will offer three (3) round trips per day, seven (7) days per week. Crossing time will be approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Chi-Cheemaun Summer Schedule: Sat. June 27 – Mon. September 14

Departing Tobermory 9:00AM, 1:00PM, 5:00PM

Departing South Baymouth 11:00AM, 3:00PM, 7:00PM

All passengers with reservations made for the period June 27 through September 14 will be contacted by OSTC reservations staff and rebooked for a new departure time.

MS Chi-Cheemaun continues to operate under the conditions of Transport Canada’s

Interim Order No. 2 Respecting Passenger Vessel Restrictions Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Those conditions and OSTC’s additional measures include health and recent travel history screening for all passengers, and the requirement to wear a cloth reusable facemask or other face covering while on board the ferry.

Travellers are encouraged to understand all reopening rules and restrictions that may be in place from origin through destination, as these may vary in each community and region.

MS Chi-Cheemaun COVID-19 mitigation measures:

1. Passenger capacity under the Interim Order cannot exceed 50% of the vessel’s certified capacity unless the vessel can ensure physical distancing is possible via other means. Chi-Cheemaun’s certified capacity is 638 and is permitted to carry up to 300 passengers under the Interim Order, but initially will not exceed 125 – 150 passengers per crossing to ensure physical distancing is possible throughout the passenger spaces. This number will be evaluated throughout the season and may change in response to future reductions in restrictive measure requirements.

2. Vehicle capacity may be reduced depending on the number of persons in vehicles.

3. ALL passengers, walk-on and in-vehicle must make a reservation to ensure the passenger count meets the vessel’s physical distancing requirements.

4. NO passenger will be permitted to remain on the vehicle deck; passengers who refuse to leave their vehicle on the vehicle deck will be banned from all future use of the ferry.

Note: The Transport Canada document issued March 16, 2020 “Measures to create temporary flexibility for ferry operators to allow passengers to remain in their cars on closed deck ferries due to the COVID-19 situation” does not apply to Chi-Cheemaun as there are no measures available that can make persons remaining in a vehicle on the enclosed vehicle deck of this vessel safe.

5. ALL Passengers will be screened in accordance with Transport Canada’s Interim Order Respecting Passenger vessels. Passengers will be asked to answer the following five questions truthfully:

  • Do you have a fever and a cough? If YES or passenger refuses to answer, boarding is denied.
  • Do you have a fever and breathing difficulty? If YES or passenger refuses to answer, boarding is denied.
  • Have you been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to a medical reason related to COVID-19? If YES or passenger refuses to answer, boarding is denied.
  • Are you the subject of a provincial/territorial or local public health order? If YES or passenger refuses to answer, boarding is denied.
  • Are you in possession of a face covering that covers your mouth and nose, and do you agree to wear this covering for the duration of the crossing? If NO or passenger refuses to answer, boarding is denied.
  • Passengers will also be required to declare any out-of-country travel made in the preceding 14 days. Note: boarding may be denied.6. All Passengers are required to bring and wear face coverings for the duration of the crossing and must maintain a physical distance of 2m between themselves and other passengers and crew while on board.7. NO food, beverage or retail service will be available for passengers.8. NO food or beverages may be brought on board or consumed by passengers (unless medically required and with prior notification to the ferry operator).9. Passengers may bring their own bottle of water, preferably in a reusable water bottle.10. Passenger spaces will be cleaned on a more frequent schedule with COVID-19 appropriate products.

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