'I didn't sleep last night': Public Health Agency of Canada warns against taking cruises in wake of COVID-19 outbreaks
WINNIPEG -- As Ottawa prepares to get Canadians off the COVID-19 stricken Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California and back home again, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer is warning other Canadians from future trips on the high seas.
"Today The Public Health Agency of Canada is recommending that Canadians avoid all cruise ship travel due to COVID-19."
"I didn't sleep last night, cause you knew it was coming," said Cindy Gaudet, the owner of Fareconnect Travel and Cruise Centre.
She said the advisory is difficult to hear, but not unexpected following a similar warning from U.S. officials.
"No large crowds, no long trips, and above all, don't get on a cruise ship," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Cindy Gaudet said she has been helping some clients rebook cancelled cruises. If not on another cruise, then on another holiday.
"I'm not going to let it take my business away."
Business in the travel industry has been challenging for many people following COVID-19 outbreaks in China, Italy and other countries around the world.
"Generally we are busy, but now it's totally silence in here," said Rangit Singh from Riya Travel.
Singh said several clients have asked for refunds on trips, but he's hopeful things will turn around once warmer temperatures arrive.
"When sun is hot, the corona virus will be dead," he said, adding he believes business will come roaring back to life once again.
Cindy Gaudet too is confident the future of the cruise industry is secure.
"We've been through a lot over the last many many years, with different things that have happened in the industry. This is just adding another one to the history."
Once this current crisis passes, Gaudet said it will likely be a great time to book a cruise. She is expecting a lot of good sales in the future.