After BC’s Minister of Health Adrian Dix said this week that “the only travel we should be doing in the next little while is moving from phase one to phase two [of the province’s reopening plan],” BC Ferries is urging people to avoid all non-essential travel this upcoming Victoria Day long weekend.
“In keeping with direction provided by the Province of British Columbia last week, we continue to advise customers to avoid non-essential travel at this time,” said BC Ferries in a statement. “We are dedicated to providing a safe and healthy travel experience for passengers and employees.”
For those that do need to travel, “additional measures have been put in place to keep customers and crew healthy and safe including limiting passenger capacity by 50% to support physical distancing, allowing customers to remain in their vehicles during the sailing and enhanced cleaning.”
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All food (including vending machines) and retail outlets at terminals and onboard all ships are closed until further notice, the company noted.
BC Ferries added that many of the coastal communities it serves “have issued advisories to travellers notifying them of limited supplies, healthcare equipment, and resources.”
These communities, they said, include Haida Gwaii, Southern Gulf Islands, Northern Gulf Islands, and the Sunshine Coast.
Additionally, because many routes are currently operating at 50% passenger capacity, the Southern Gulf Islands — Metro Vancouver route “has limited service on the Sunday and holiday Monday.”
The company noted that only customers with bookings and correctly identified passenger numbers are assured they will be accommodated on sailings.
“COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere,” said Dix, adding restrictions on non-essential travel must continue.
“The risk remains very high across the province.”