Chi-Cheemaun resumes services, but not for pleasure trips and face masks are mandatory
The Chi-Cheemaun ferry service to Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron. (file photo)
SUDBURY -- As the province takes small steps toward normalcy, a familiar site is returning to Manitoulin Island.
The Chi-Cheemaun left Owen Sound Monday to resume ferry service to Manitoulin Island. However, several restrictions are place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"All customers -- drive-on and walk-on -- must have a reservation," Chi-Cheemaun officials said in a news release. "We are not able to accommodate customers who arrive at the terminals without a reservation due to COVID-19 restrictions."
And the ferry service is not aimed at tourists, and is operating for now to service people who require transport between the two locations.
"This early service is in support of the many commercial carriers who normally use the ferry to transit between regions of northern and southwestern Ontario, and customers where the ferry is the most practical means of accessing their owned residences," the news release said.
"The ferry service also provides an important second point of access to and departure from Manitoulin Island currently served only by the historic single lane wooden swing bridge at Little Current."
Passengers are restricted to commercial travel, and people who require passage for "an essential service."
"Ferry service will not be available for passengers engaging in tourism or recreational activities," the release said.
All passengers are required to bring and wear face masks for the duration of the crossing and must maintain a physical distance of two metres between themselves and other passengers and crew while on board.
The ferry can host up to 300 people, but until the pandemic ends and restrictions are lifted, capacity will be limited to 125 people. People travelling with vehicles have to leave them on the deck, the release added.
"Passengers who refuse to leave their vehicle on the vehicle deck will be banned from all future use of the ferry," the release said.
You can't buy any food or drinks while on the ferry, and you can't consume food or drinks unless it's medically necessary and you receive permission beforehand. Passengers will also 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.
Read the full release here.