WINNIPEG -- It will still be a while before people can take Via Rail for certain trips, including the sleeper class from Winnipeg to Churchill.

The company was supposed to resume service of that route plus the long distances routes known as the Canadian and the Ocean on Nov. 1, but they have now been postponed.

The Canadian is a trip that runs from Toronto to Vancouver, while the Ocean runs from Montreal to Halifax.

Via Rail saying the reason behind the decision is due to COVID-19.

"Please know that we will continue to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 and remain in close contact with public health authorities as well as the federal and provincial governments," said Cynthia Garneau, who is the president and CEO of Via Rail, in a statement on the company's website. "Our desire is to offer all of our services to Canadians as quickly as possible under optimal sanitary conditions."

The company said based on recent bulletins from officials, there is a second wave that has started in areas throughout the country and there is a high risk of respiratory diseases in the fall and winter.

"Current sanitary conditions would thus not allow for a safe service offering, especially given the duration of these trips and the close proximity between employees and passengers," Via Rail said on its website.

Via Rail said it is continuing to work on a safe resumption plan for these routes and when the plan is ready, it will be shared.