Coronavirus protection measures still in effect for BC's interior ferries

Jul 3 2020, 9:27 am

With increased travel a part of British Columbia’s transition to Phase 3 of the economic restart plan, the government is reminding passengers who are planning to use the province’s inland ferry system they still need to adhere to Transport Canada’s COVID-19 safety protocols.

In a release, the Province said that “most importantly,” this means that all inland ferry passengers travelling by vehicle must remain in their vehicles for the duration of the trip to help protect the safety of passengers and crew.

All coronavirus safety guidelines are set by Transport Canada to reduce the risks of infection, and additional safety measures are also in place, including the following:

  • All passenger amenities aboard the ferry are closed until further notice to limit interaction amongst passengers.
  • Walk-on passengers, cyclists and motorcyclists are encouraged to wear cloth masks or face coverings and maintain physical distance in designated zones.
  • Walk-on passengers, cyclists, and motorcyclists with symptoms of COVID-19 are not permitted aboard the inland ferries.

The government said these safety measures will remain in effect “until further notice.”

The reminder comes after BC Ferries announced new regulations for all passengers over the age of two on longer sailings of over 30 minutes, including passengers travelling in a vehicle.

Upon arrival at the terminal, passengers will be asked to confirm if they have a face mask or covering and are willing to wear it when necessary — when proper physical distancing of two metres cannot be maintained.

If the passenger answers “no” or fails to answer, they will be rejected from travelling.

All passengers are required to bring their own face masks or coverings as they will not be provided by BC Ferries.

The new regulations follow the latest guidance by Transport Canada on face masks or coverings for planes, trains, ships, and public transit. For ships, the federal regulations mandate face masks for passengers on sailings over 30 minutes in duration.

“As defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, a face covering should fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops, be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen) and be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping,” reads a release.

This latest measure adds to BC Ferries’ continuing practice of screening all passengers for symptoms and rejecting anyone who does not meet the screening requirements.

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