With Coronavirus cases in Canada nearing 1,000 people, the US and Canada will be shutting down the longest shared border in the world tonight to all non-essential travel. The Government of Canada has advised Canadians not to travel abroad and urged those who are away to come home. People have been instructed to practice social distancing, working from home whenever possible, and large gatherings have been banned across the country. While global trade is still active, there are reports around the globe of port activity slowing down and trucking facing new restrictions. The full economic effect is yet to be seen.
The Chamber has shifted the focus of its effort to responding to COVID-19 and the operational and trade concerns of its membership. As information sharing continues to be crucial during this time of change, the Chamber has established a web-based resource centre for COVID-19 as it relates to shipping in Canada. We are also coordinating a Western Regional Operations Call on Mondays and Thursdays.
It is clear that the welfare of seafarers will be even more challenging and important to continued trading in Canada and globally. The Chamber is participating in a group coordinated by the International Chamber of Shipping to seek global standards and practices for crew welfare and crew changes during this challenging period.
We hope that you are practicing social distancing and taking the necessary precautions to ensure that you and your families are staying safe and healthy through these unprecedented times.