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Seaway measures to ensure operations amidst COVID-19 crisis

Guided by information made available by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) indicated it is working closely with Transport Canada and all other relevant authorities on a comprehensive response to the COVID-19 crisis. SLSMC has put in place a series of measures to ensure the continuity of operations on the St. Lawrence Seaway for both domestic and ocean vessels. 

“These measures are designed to maintain an efficient transportation corridor into and out of the heartland of North America, while safeguarding the welfare of all personnel. We are continuing to follow the evolving situation, and are working to ensure that lock operations will be reliable when commercial navigation resumes on March 24, 2020 (Welland Canal) and April 1, 2020 (Montreal to Lake Ontario Section).

“Detailed Seaway notices related to the opening of the commercial navigation season will be communicated through usual channels within the next few days. For ocean vessels coming into the St. Lawrence Seaway, adherence to the 96 hour advance notice of arrival to the Government of Canada is essential. In addition, all crew members of domestic and ocean vessels must be monitored for symptoms of the virus and notice must be promptly given of any confirmed or suspected cases of the virus on board, prior to Seaway inspectors boarding the ship.

“From our understanding of new restrictions on transportation, all cruise ships carrying 500 or more people will be prohibited from entering Canadian waters. Consequently, cruise ships should monitor Transport Canada communication channels for further updates, as these stipulations may change in the future. Please be assured, the current health crisis has the full attention of the SLSMC’s leadership, and the situation is being constantly monitored to ensure that our waterway continues to function as a vital contributor to the United States and Canadian economies. We are committed to keeping our customers informed and remain focused on meeting your marine transportation needs with reliability and predictability. Please reach out to us at for any Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System questions related to COVID-19.” (Photo Paul Beesley)