Via Rail extends Maritime service suspension as Canada battles coronavirus second wave

Via Rail is extending the suspension of two of its long-distance routes as the country continues to battle the second wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In a press release issued late last month, Via Rail said the Canada and the Ocean route, which runs from Montreal to Halifax will not resume Nov.1 as scheduled.

According to Via Rail, the suspension of the “sleeper class” on the Winnipeg to Churchill route will also be extended.

Both routes were initially suspended back in March over the COVID-19 outbreak.

Read more: Canada adds 2,206 new coronavirus cases, marking highest daily increase yet

“Recent bulletins by authorities show that a second wave of the pandemic has begun in some regions of the country,” the release reads.

“The authorities indicate that this situation is worrisome as we are heading into autumn and winter, which are seasons presenting a high risk for respiratory diseases.”

Via Rail said current sanitary conditions would not allow it to provide safe service given the “duration of these trips and the close proximity between employees and passengers.”

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Via Rail banks survival on high frequency rail project

Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Via Rail, said the company will “continue to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19.”

She said Via Rail will remain in “close contact” with public health authorities and government officials.

“Our desire is to offer all our services to Canadians as quickly as possible under optimal sanitary conditions,” Garneau said.

The news comes as health officials work to stave off a second wave of the virus.

Read more: Via Rail to lay off 1,000 employees amid coronavirus disruptions

On Monday, the country reported 2,206 new cases of the respiratory illness, marking the highest single-day increase since the pandemic began.

Of those cases, 1,191 were detected in Quebec.

According to the Via Rail statement, anyone who has a reservation affected by the suspension will be contacted and reimbursed automatically.

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