In full compliance with federal and provincial COVID-19 health directives, Ambassatours Gray Line re-opened its Halifax-based guest experiences, as follows:
At Cable Wharf in Halifax: Murphy’s Gift Shop (The Company Store)
Boat tours of the Halifax harbour, aboard its vessels: Harbour Hopper, Tall Ship Silva, Kawartha Spirit and Harbour Queen.
Wine tours in the Annapolis Valley with Valley Wine Tours
Prior to opening, and throughout its seasonal operation, the company has implemented all required COVID-19 guidelines, and has added some additional measures to ensure guest comfort and safety while visiting. These protocols are compliant with:
The Public Health Agency of Canada
Nova Scotia Health Authority
Passenger and Commercial Vessel Association (PCVA).
Our Commitment to Health & Safety
All measures are designed to promote: Sanitation, Physical Distancing and Contact Reduction, across all divisions. The health and well-being of our guests and crew members is our number one priority. To that end, the company has implemented several new safety measures, which include:
Mandatory use of staff masks in all areas of our operation (such as for restaurant hosts, servers, deckhands, guides). Nova Scotia Public Health requires mandatory mask use by guests when enjoying any of our indoor facilities, such as the inside of our restaurant, lower (covered) decks on our vessels, bars, or washrooms.
Vessel Capacity & Layouts
All Murphy’s vessels are operating at limited capacity, with renewed deck plans, or plexiglass barriers, to facilitate 6 foot (2 metre) physical distancing. If physical distancing is unable to be consistency maintained on a particular tour, the company will implement mandatory use of masks for staff and guests on that tour. The company will provide disposable masks to guests, as required. The ferry to Georges Island requires mandatory masks usage for all guests and crew.
Timed Ticketing Entry
To control passenger flow and manage guest capacity aboard our vessels, timed ticketing entry is being implemented, and advance group reservations are required.
We will implement policies and post signage where customers can be refused entry if displaying signs of fever and/or cough, or symptoms of COVID-19. Refunds will be given to any pre-booked guest, if they are refused admission to a tour.
Staff Safety Screening
All staff will be screened prior to commencing their shifts. If exhibiting symptoms, they will be required to leave the work site.
Guests will be required to use hand sanitizer, at stations provided, prior to entering all our premises (including company store and prior to boarding vessels). Staff will also be reminded and encouraged to frequently hand wash.
High Touch Surface Sanitation
High-contact areas in our restaurant, gift shop and aboard our boats will be sanitized (with documentation) with higher frequency, including full sanitization between tours. Such areas on vessels include: handrails, seats, tables, chair backs and washrooms. Extra time is allotted between tours for sanitation. Health Canada approved cleaning products and methods are being used.
Best practices in physical distancing for staff and guests are implemented at all sites, including: spaced floor
markers, directional arrows, communication signage, plexiglass at service counters and between seats on some vessels, assigned guest zones on some vessels, ample spacing for queuing, timed ticketing entry and reduced guest capacity on vessels. Per provincial health directives, the maximum number of guests per in group is ten.
Staff Member Health Checks
A COVID-19 Fit For Duty health checks are conducted with each employee at the start of their shift. The company will also equip team members with the tools they need to provide increased protection such as more frequent Training, access to PPE as well as increased hygiene, disinfection and sanitation practices and supplies.
Ambassatours submitted its COVID-19 Safe Operating Plan to the Nova Scotia government for approval, and it has since been referenced as an industry 'best practice' in COVID-19 mitigations.