Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced Friday that no cruise ships carrying more than 500 people will be allowed to dock in Canada until at least July 1.
The restriction will apply to ports in the North for the whole season, because the risk from COVID-19 is greater in more remote communities.
He said the government is also planning to restrict the airports that can accept international flights, so people arriving on them can be more closely screened.
The list of airports that will be included hasn’t been settled yet.
A Research Co. poll released two days before his announcement found most British Columbians would postpone the start of the cruise ship season in the province altogether.
The online survey, conducted from Mar. 9 to Mar. 11 among 800 B.C. residents, found 82 per cent of respondents agreed with delaying the start of the cruise ship season on account of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Support for the delay was highest on Vancouver Island (92 per cent), followed by Northern BC (89 per cent), the Fraser Valley (85 per cent), Metro Vancouver (82 per cent) and Southern BC (71 per cent).