UPDATE FROM BC FERRIES REGARDING PROVINCIAL TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS ORDER
Starting immediately, in support of the provincial travel restrictions Order announced today by the Province, BC Ferries will deny travel to customers travelling for non-essential reasons on routes crossing regional zones as defined in the Order. This affects the following routes:
• Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay
• Tsawwassen – Duke Point
• Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands
• Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay
• Comox – Powell River
• Port Hardy – Prince Rupert
Customers travelling on these routes will be asked if their travel is essential, and denied passage if it is not essential. Customers travelling on routes that operate within the same regional zone (Cortes & Quadra Ferries) will be reminded they should be
avoiding non-essential travel at this time.
The Province defines situations that qualify as essential travel https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/travel/current[here]
“BC Ferries supports doing everything we can to discourage non-essential travel, and this Order gives us the legal authority we need to deny travel for non-essential reasons,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “Our employees continue to work hard providing service transporting people, goods and medical supplies to coastal BC communities for essential reasons, and I’m proud of the work they are doing.”
BC Ferries will rely on other jurisdictional authorities for assistance with enforcement of this Order. As a result of the Order, BC Ferries is not scheduling extra sailings for the May long weekend. The company has also added a check box to the online booking flow of the website to ensure customers read and acknowledge they are travelling for essential reasons when making a booking. Since November, BC Ferries has been regularly advising customers to avoid non-essential travel.
“It is vitally important for people to stay close to home over these next five weeks so we can drive down the spread of COVID and look forward to a more familiar summer,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “The vast majority of people are putting the health and safety of others first, and the added measures we’re now taking are meant to ensure others don’t travel unless it is essential.”
BC Ferries employees have continued to ensure the ferry system operates safely and efficiently through this pandemic. The company has a zero tolerance policy for abuse, both verbal and physical, towards its employees. Any customer who abuses an employee will be banned from travel. The company also asks customers to be kind to other customers travelling for essential reasons. It is possible customers may be travelling with out-of-province license plates or recreational vehicles for essential reasons. Please continue to be kind, be calm and be safe towards our employees and other customers.
For schedules and information about travelling for essential reasons with BC Ferries during COVID-19, visit bcferries.com.
BC Ferries, Media Relations
Victoria: (250) 978-1267
Victoria: (250) 386-3431
Toll-free: 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779)