Walpole Island Ferry shuts down over testing requirements

Walpole Island ferry. (Photo via Walpole Algonac Ferry Ltd)

The Walpole Island Ferry will be docking again over issues surrounding mandatory PCR testing for passengers.

After sitting idle for nearly two years because of the pandemic, the ferry resumed service only a few days ago for the American Thanksgiving.

According to a statement on the Walpole Island Ferry website, which travels between Walpole Island and Algonac, Michigan, the service will be shutting down again due to the COVID-19 testing requirements imposed by the federal government.

“It is with a heavy heart and much frustration that we announce that the Walpole Algonac Ferry will be shutting down as the public health measures put in place regarding the PCR testing only applies to passengers travelling back to Canada by air and land crossings. Marine (such as our ferry) is not included in the exemption of no testing required,” read the statement. “This includes anyone that has crossed our ferry to go to the USA, you are still required to have a PCR test to travel back to Canada using the bridges and/or tunnel.”

On Tuesday, the federal government lifted the PCR testing requirement for fully vaccinated who cross the border and return home within 72 hours.

According to the statement by the ferry service, operators were informed by the Port Director of the Walpole crossing late Monday afternoon that people arriving by marine were not exempt from testing.

“We understand that this is a huge disappointment to our Band Members and the community surrounding Walpole Island that has come to enjoy our crossing for their cross border needs,” the statement read. “We are [having] ongoing communication with the CBSA, Transport Canada, Public Health officials and our local MP to resolve this matter and will update with any information that we may receive.”