Canadian Coast Guard Circular
12-2021 COVID-19 Pre-deployment
COVID-19 Testing for Northern and Arctic Bound Vessel Personnel and Passengers
Original: 2021-05-28 Revised: n/a Approved by Marc Mes, Director General, Fleet and Maritime Services, on May 28, 2021.
On this page
All Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) personnel and any passengers deploying to northern communities and the Arctic.
The purpose of this circular is to provide information on the requirement for northern and Arctic pre-deployment COVID-19 testing.
In June 2021, as per the Arctic Fleet operational deployment plan, CCG ice breakers will begin deploying from bases in Victoria, British Columbia; Quebec City, Quebec; Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; and St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, CCG has determined that all vessel personnel and passengers deploying to the north and Arctic will be required to undergo pre-deployment COVID-19 testing.
While CCG has implemented numerous strategies, processes and procedures to ensure the health and safety of its seagoing personnel, COVID-19 pre-deployment testing will provide an extra layer of protection for vessels and crew bound for the north and Arctic, wherein medical evacuation can be difficult.
Further to the pre-screening of all CCG vessel personnel and passengers prior to departure (see circular 21-2021 COVID‑19 - Health Screening Questionnaire for Canadian Coast Guard Personnel and Visitors Accessing CCG-only Regional Facilities and CCG Vessels), Canadian Coast Guard personnel and passengers, as a pre-condition to boarding a vessel or chartered plane used for crew changes, must also produce the following within 48 hours prior to boarding the vessel or plane:
- a negative laboratory or point-of-care COVID 19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result, and/or
- a negative rapid antigen test result
These test results will be required irrespective of having received a COVID 19 vaccination.
These measures will contribute to ensuring the success of CCG's programs in the north and Arctic by reducing the risk of infection on board vessels and its introduction into remote communities.
Strategy for COVID-19 testing
Testing will be administered by trained and approved CCG personnel, private laboratories, or through provincial health authorities. Regions are coordinating testing processes and procedures and will provide information to crew, scientists and other passengers as required.
Northern and Arctic pre-deployment COVID-19 testing will be coordinated by each region. Periodic testing, as required on board, will also occur during Arctic voyages to further ensure the ongoing health and safety of seagoing personnel.
In the case where testing is administered by a private laboratory or by provincial health authorities, test results will be released either directly to a senior regional official or directly to the individual. When released to the individual (crew, scientist and others), test results must be shared with the CCG authority identified by the region. Results will be handled as "Protected B" information.
Employees that do not follow these procedures and protocols may increase the risks of contamination on our vessels. Should an employee choose not to undergo the test, we will work with the employee to accommodate them with other work or, if no other work is available, to take appropriate leave.
Hygiene/Safety procedures - reminder
At all times including throughout the voyage on board the vessel or charter flights and throughout the crew change and testing process, vessel personnel and passengers should:
- maintain the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)'s recommended physical distance of at least 2 meters from other persons
- wear a non-medical mask if physical distancing cannot be maintained, as per CCG Operations Safety Bulletin 08-2020 COVID-19 – Information Concerning the Use of Non-Medical Masks at Work
- comply with standard infection protection and control precautions (handwashing, etc.) as outlined by PHAC's COVID ‑19 - Prevention and risk webpage
Enquiries regarding this circular should be directed to:
Director, Fleet and Maritime Services
- Date modified: