Guidelines for Recreational Boating, Passenger Vessels and Ferry Operators
Water sports is one of those recreational activities which needs to be monitored closely due to the high infection rate and global impact of coronavirus. The number one priority of operators should be the health and safety of their passengers and crew, and this principle should continue to guide their decision making moving forward during this unprecedented event.
The following actions should be adopted to ensure the health and safety of passengers and crew.
Preventive measures for recreational boating
- All crew and office personnel are required to wear face coverings when/where appropriate.
- Face coverings should be made available for all passengers or passengers should be notified in advance to bring their own face coverings.
- All staff are required to follow Ministry of Health guidelines on hand washing, hygiene and social distancing guidance of staying 2 metres (6ft) apart.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands, or sneeze/cough into your elbow.
- Enhanced sanitation protocols for all water sports equipment, i.e., snorkels, masks, etc.
- Enhanced protocols to restrict work for all high-risk crew members.
- Protocols to ensure sick staff members remain at home and contact the Ministry of Health.
Additional precautionary measures to further ensure the health and safety of passengers and crew.
- Enhanced sanitation protocols for high touchpoint areas.
- All food service personnel are required to wear face coverings.
- All food service personnel are required to follow MOH guidelines on hand washing, hygiene and social distancing.
- Enhanced protocols to restrict work for all high-risk food service personnel.
- All food will be presented and served individually; all buffet style food service has been suspended.
Facilities & Vessels
- Enhanced and regular sanitation protocols for all facilities and vessels (follow the EHD general cleaning guidelines) paying particular attention to frequently touched areas.
- Vessels should be cleaned between voyages.
- Implementation of additional hand sanitizing stations.
- Reduced capacity of check-in office occupancy.
- Significant reduction in passenger occupancy on all activities to support social distancing.
- Signage should advise customers and staff of COVID-19 prevention measures.
Requests of Passengers
Protect the health & safety of other passengers & crew by encouraging the following:
- Refraining from handshakes, fist bumps and high fives.
- Wearing face coverings when/where appropriate.
- Following MOH guidelines on hand washing, hygiene and social distancing.
- Being courteous to and respecting the personal space of other passengers and crew.
Operators of passenger and ferry vessels should:
- Notify passengers before boarding that they may be subject to a health check to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (this involves answering a few simple questions which should be answered truthfully).
- Notify passengers when purchasing their ticket and before boarding that they should have a face covering to cover their mouth/nose, for use at times during their journey when they cannot physically distance from others (e.g., in washrooms or other common areas).
- Have the crew (or crew member) advised on wearing a face covering that covers the mouth and nose when outside your vehicle and in situations where 2 metres of physical separation cannot be maintained prior to or on-board the vessel. Where this is not feasible, the operator should post equivalent signage.
- Maintain records for all passengers for at least one month in case a need arises whereby the public Health team needs to do contact tracing for person who may have been affected by COVID-19.
Refusal of boarding:
In the event that the vessel operator observes the following:
- The passenger has COVID-19 symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath); or
- That their response to any of the questions on the health check indicates a need to deny boarding; or
- The passenger is not in possession of a face covering.
The vessel operator should refuse to board the person for travel for a period of 14 days or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the symptoms that the person is exhibiting are not related to the COVID-19 virus (in the case of a. or b.). Refusal of boarding for c. could occur if such measures are being adopted locally and no other means are available to maintain two metres of physical separation mitigation.
If the passenger must travel for the purpose of receiving needed medical services, they should take precautions to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 such as staying in their car as much as possible, wearing a face covering and maintaining a minimum of two metres from any other passenger.
Provide explanation for future travel: Where possible, vessel operators should explain to passengers who are denied boarding, based on the health check or observation, that they will need to wait 14 days before they are able to board a vessel or that they will need to provide a medical certificate indicating that the symptoms that they are exhibiting are not related to the COVID-19 virus.
Advise vessel passengers to follow the Ministry of Health guidance related to COVID-19: Vessel operators should advise passengers who have been denied boarding to follow the guidance/direction from Ministry of Health for dealing with the COVID-19 infection.
Questionnaire for Health Check
Vessel operators should protect themselves by maintaining more than 2 metres between themselves and passengers at all times, which is also known as social or physical distancing. Staff should be instructed to encourage foot passengers to maintain more than 2 metres distance between themselves while in line (markers can be utilized).
If the response (or non-response) to any of the four questions below results in the answer that is in bold, then a denial of boarding should be applied.
- Do you have a fever and a cough? If YES or passenger refuses to answer, deny boarding.
- Do you have a fever and breathing difficulty? If YES or passenger refuses to answer, deny boarding.
- 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, deny boarding.
- Are you the subject of a quarantine order? If YES or passenger refuses to answer, deny boarding.
- Are you in possession of a face covering that covers your mouth and nose, and do you agree to wear this covering in situations where you cannot maintain two metres of physical separation from your fellow passengers? If NO or passenger refuses to answer, deny boarding.