BC Ferries passengers must now exit their vehicles on enclosed car decks

Sep 30 2020, 8:54 am

BC Ferries passengers are no longer allowed to remain in their vehicles while on enclosed car decks.

Earlier this month, the ferry corporation announced that Transport Canada had rescinded the temporary practice. The option for passengers to remain in their vehicles was granted on March 17, allowing riders to better distance themselves amidst the pandemic.

Customers will still; however, be allowed to remain inside their vehicles if they’re parked on the upper or open car decks.

“BC Ferries must comply with Transport Canada regulation and the company supports the regulation and its intent,” says BC Ferries in a release.

The corporation adds that enclosed car decks “represent inherent risk” to those travelling, noting that measures such as additional cleaning, sanitization, and physical distancing are in effect on vessels.

The wearing of face masks is also mandatory while at the terminal or onboard a vessel, with BC Ferries able to issue travel bans or fines to those who are non-compliant.

The enclosed car deck ban will be implemented on the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen-Duke Point, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay, Powell River-Comox, and Tsawwassen-Southern Gulf Islands routes.

The ban has also been timed with BC Ferries reopening certain areas of the vessel for more seating, including the Pacific Buffet area on Spirit Class vessels. Buffet food service is not being reintroduced; however, and the adjustment is only to provide more space for seating while practicing physical distancing.

“Safety is our highest value and we provide a safe and healthy travel experience. Customers are legally required to comply with this federal regulation,” said Mark Collins, president and CEO of BC Ferries, in an earlier statement.

“We expect our customers to follow the law and we continue to have zero tolerance policy for abuse of any kind towards our employees. Failure to follow the direction of our crew or abuse towards an employee may result in denial of service and Transport Canada enforcement measures.”

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