Nova Scotia

2 Marine Atlantic terminals shutting down for weekend because of poor weather, COVID-19

Marine Atlantic will close its terminals in North Sydney, N.S., and Port aux Basques, N.L., for the next several days, once its vessels have been loaded for the Thursday night crossing. The reasons are poor weather and COVID-19.

Marine Atlantic says it can't accommodate waiting passengers while crossings are disrupted

To help clear away any backlog of passengers, Marine Atlantic said the MV Leif Ericson will go into service when crossings resume. (Marine Atlantic)

Marine Atlantic will close its terminals in North Sydney, N.S., and Port aux Basques, N.L., for the next several days, once its vessels have been loaded for the Thursday night crossing.

In a news release, the company said crossings will likely be cancelled until Sunday because of a weather system that will bring heavy rain and strong winds.

Marine Atlantic said given there are restrictions already in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there's no room in the terminals to accommodate people waiting to cross.

Marine Atlantic has been limiting the number of passengers to 250 on its ferries and anyone who has travelled internationally in the previous 14 days is asked to wait in a separate section of the terminals.

Spokesperson Darrell Mercer said they are expecting an increase in passengers returning from trips overseas in the next few days, and there won't be room to isolate those numbers for an extended period.

"We realize it's not convenient for people to wait off-site, but we are trying to protect the health of our passengers and our employees," he said.

Marine Atlantic has issued a gale warning for the Cabot Strait.

Marine Atlantic said it expects regular crossings to resume Sunday evening.  It said customers will be rebooked to future crossings.

To help with the additional traffic, the MV Leif Ericson will be put into service when crossings resume.

The only customers allowed on the properties during the terminal closures are commercial truckers dropping off trailers to be loaded on the vessels.

Truckers waiting to make the crossings will also be asked to wait off-site.

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