From Peter Woodward, President and CEO, Labrador Marine Inc
On Sunday, April 5, Labrador Marine resumed daily service between Blanc Sablon and St. Barbe. It was the first time in six weeks that we were able to successfully complete a run across the Straits.
I know that the alteration to regular service was an inconvenience to many people, especially for commercial customers and those who needed to travel to and from the northern peninsula. I want to thank you for your patience and cooperation during this period.
Over a six-week period, we made 11 complete round trips between Blanc Sablon and Corner Brook. The Corner Brook routing proved to be a workable solution during the time that St. Barbe was inaccessible. It allowed Labrador Marine to continue providing an essential service to the people and communities in the Straits and southern Labrador.
Weather and ice conditions are a challenge during the winter season. We appreciate the unstinting efforts of the Canadian Coast Guard in assisting our passage to St. Barbe and Corner Brook. In particular, I want to thank the crews of the CCGS Terry Fox, Henry Larsen, Louis S. St-Laurent and Edward Cornwallis for their work in extremely difficult ice conditions.
I wish that I could say that things are back to normal. But they are not. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many changes in our daily lives. We must all remain vigilant to stop the spread of the virus.
Labrador Marine is enforcing both the federal and provincial government directives that state only essential travel is permitted on our vessel. This includes travel for medical reasons, for essential work, and for commercial purposes, such as food delivery. Our reservations staff are screening people who call to make bookings to ensure that travel is for those necessary reasons. We are screening people again prior to boarding. We must all do our part to stop the spread of this virus and we thank you for helping us in this regard.
On board the vessel, Labrador Marine has implemented more frequent sanitizing and cleaning. We have restricted passenger volume to 53 people on each crossing, which allows us to ensure that people practice social distancing by being able to keep at least 6 feet apart.
We may need to implement additional public health measures as we progress through the coming weeks. If you have any questions or concerns, please immediately contact our onboard staff. Monitor the Labrador Marine website for updates and any changes to current policy.
Again, thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding.