Bay Ferries’ CAT is expected to sit idle for another year as the restrictions between Canada and the USA remain strict and are not due to change in the near future.
In a release, Lloyd Hines (Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister) said it was a disappointing decision to have to make, but given the ongoing uncertainty, it was really the only choice they had.
This is the 3rd full year the ferry will not be sailing. In 2020, the crossings were suspended because of increasing COVID cases in the USA and travel restrictions, much like the 2021 reasoning.
In 2019, terminal works forced Bay Ferries to cancel and delay bookings several times as the US Customs And Border Protection agency ordered renovations to Bar Harbour Terminal's building before it would put agents to process travellers. Ultimately, the season was cancelled in July 2019.
The Yarmouth ferry hasn't sailed since October 2018, when it last docked in Portland ME.
Hines said the province was committed to the ferry service and would resume it when circumstances allowed.
The province said another factor that had led to the decision was knowing that a critical percentage of Americans and Canadians would likely not be vaccinated against the virus until the summer.
Yarmouth-Maine ferry's operation is part of a 10-year deal signed in 2016 (through 2025) between the provincial government and the Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island, Canada)-based Bay Ferries.