As the temperatures slowly rise, the water begins to call. Quebec boaters might be feeling that familiar springtime temptation to dust of their vessels and once again take to the now ice-free local lakes and rivers. But it won't just be nautical business as usual this year. Authorities insist that social distancing measures must be followed — even on boats.
Transport Canada has issued a handy guide for Canadians hoping to take to the water in their recreational floating vehicles this year.
The federal agency indicates that you can only take on board members of your own household. Therefore, no family members, friends or guests who do not live under the same roof should board the same boat.
Passengers should also maintain a distance of two meters from other boats and boaters.
For watercraft enthusiasts, the guide states that this length corresponds to half a canoe, a fishing rod, or one wakeboard and a half.
Boaters are encouraged to wear non-medical masks or face shields if physical distancing is difficult.
Transport Canada also recommends against lending equipment, as well as stopping between home and the boat.
Water travel between Canada and the United States is limited to essential activities, so cross-border traffic for tourism or entertainment is prohibited for the time being.
The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (Quebec) invites Quebecers to limit their boat travel, since rescue operations may be slowed down in the current context.
If you must head out on the water, please maintain #PhysicalDistancing. Don’t share your equipment, don’t carpool o… https://t.co/gVVacAyn7b— Transport Canada (@Transport Canada) 1589126518.0
Planning on boating across the border for non-essential purposes? Don’t - #NowIsNotTheTime. There is a temporary re… https://t.co/zUZDYdJ1PA— Transport Canada (@Transport Canada) 1589040101.0
For its part, Nautisme Québec announced on May 9 that it had developed a plan to reopen the boating industry to allow safe navigation.
This strategy has been submitted to the Government of Quebec and will be unveiled once the authorities' approval has been received.
This article was originally published in French on Narcity Québec.