Travel Advisory: COVID-19 Update - Important information - Last updated January 11, 2021 View ×

BC Ferries remains committed to ensuring coastal communities have reliable access to essential goods and supplies. Our priority is the health and safety of our customers and employees, and the company will strictly adhere to provincial and federal guidelines.

We encourage our customers to continue to heed Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice to be calm, be kind, and be safe. Our vessel and terminal staff are working hard to adjust to changing circumstances and to implement protocols and procedures that keep everyone safe and healthy. BC Ferries does not tolerate any abuse, including verbal abuse, towards its employees. A customer who abuses an employee will be denied service.

On January 7, 2021 Dr. Bonnie Henry announced an update to the COVID-19 restrictions (in effect November 7 - February 5, 2021), for more information click here. BC Ferries advises customers to avoid non-essential travel at this time – this includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province. If this new Provincial Health Officer restriction affects your travel plans please contact us to change or cancel your booking. Reservations fees for existing bookings will be refunded if travel must be cancelled as a result of Provincial Health Order (PHO) travel restrictions, please contact us in advance of travel. This applies to travel occurring during the PHO travel restriction period. 

 

Masks are mandatory

All passengers must wear non-medical masks or face coverings when at terminals and on board ferries except:

  • When inside a vehicle
  • When consuming food or drinks, provided physical distancing is maintained
  • Children under 2 years of age
  • Medical condition or disability that inhibits the ability to wear a mask
  • Persons unable to place or remove a mask without assistance
  • BC Ferries employees working behind a physical barrier or within employee only areas provided physical distancing is maintained

 

* In the event that a passenger cannot wear a mask or face covering due to medical reasons, BC Ferries may require passengers to present documentation from a healthcare professional. This is a new Transport Canada requirement for ferry operators across Canada.

Passengers are reminded to continue to maintain physical distance while wearing a mask.
 
As defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, a mask 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.

 

Transport Canada - Closed deck regulation - reinstatement on September 30th

The temporary flexibility Transport Canada granted ferry operators that allows passengers to remain in their vehicle on enclosed vehicle decks is being rescinded by the regulator on September 30th, 2020. Transport Canada allowed this temporary flexibility earlier this summer in response to COVID-19. BC Ferries must comply with Transport Canada regulations. Starting on September 30th, passengers loaded on enclosed lower decks will be required to leave their vehicles.

Learn more about the reinstatement of the Transport Canada regulation

View frequently asked questions

 

Transport Canada - COVID-19 screening

For any route longer than 30 minutes, BC Ferries will screen all customers for COVID-19 symptoms and restrict travel to any customer that does not meet the screening requirements, as per the federal guidelines.

Prior to entering a BC Ferries’ terminal, customers need to answer the following questions:

  1. Do you have a fever and a cough?
  2. Do you have a fever and breathing difficulty?
  3. Have you been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to a medical reason related to COVID-19?
  4. Are you the subject of a provincial/territorial or local public health order? Note: A provincial/territorial or local public health order is typically a quarantine order issued to a person who has tested positive or is presumed positive to COVID-19
  5. Are you in possession of a face covering that covers your mouth and nose, and do you agree to wear this covering when outside your vehicle at terminals and while on board ferries?

If you answer yes to any of questions 1 to 4 and/or no to question 5 above, or refuse to answer any of the questions, BC Ferries will deny you boarding. Customers not displaying symptoms and under a directive to self-isolate at home may be permitted on board but will be required to maintain physical distance by remaining in their vehicle.

BC Ferries has implemented measures in order to ensure that customers with serious medical conditions and a need for time sensitive treatments are able to continue to travel. Customers can communicate their travel needs to the ticket agent when they arrive at the terminal. Reservations are recommended, but non-reserved travel will be prioritized based on the essential travel needs.

View more details on Transport Canada’s announcement

Book in advance to avoid lengthy waits as sailings are limited. Check-in processing takes longer due to screening protocols in place.
 

Malahat Nation

Malahat Nation is currently under a Shelter in Place order that took effect January 8, 2021.

We ask that all Mill Bay ferry customers please wear a mask when on, or transiting to BC Ferries Mill Bay terminal outside of a vehicle. Commuting customers please see the request below from Malahat Nation regarding parking on Mill Bay Road.

For further information, please see malahatnation.com.

 

Northern routes

For more information on our current Northern schedules, visit bcferries.com/schedules.

Many communities served by BC Ferries have issued advisories to travelers notifying them of limited supplies, healthcare equipment and resources. These communities include Haida Gwaii, Bella Bella, Klemtu, and Bella Coola. Customers should inform themselves of local situations and remain committed to essential travel only.
For more information about travel and restrictions in these northern communities, see:

Foot passengers

When travelling, we require customers wear a face covering onboard or in our terminals. Reservations for foot passengers are available for travel between Tsawwassen - Southern Gulf Islands and our North Coast routes, and can now be made online.  On all other routes, foot passengers will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis until passenger capacity has been reached, and tickets may be purchased at the terminal.

 

BC Ferries Vacations

Customers with BC Ferries Vacation bookings affected by the COVID-19 restrictions (in effect November 7 - February 5, 2021) can contact us to change or cancel their booking. If you require immediate assistance, please contact BC Ferries Vacations at 1-888-223-3779 Ext. 3, or email vacations@bcferries.com. Vacations Call Centre business hours are:

  • Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5 pm
  • Weekends and statutory holidays: 9 am – 5 pm

 

Additional information

  • Customers requiring wheelchair assistance: We are unable to provide wheelchair assistance at terminals or on board ferries. If you require a wheelchair, request one at the terminal. We ask that you travel with your own wheelchair assistant if required.

  • For more information on travelling with BC Ferries during the COVID-19 Pandemic click here
  • Updates from our President and CEO Mark Collins

Vehicles with U.S. license plates travelling on the Ferries

Canada Border Services Agency is screening people entering Canada at the borders. BC Ferries does not have a mandate to restrict travel.

 

We’re in this together

We are proud of the work our dedicated employees continue to provide during this situation. Crews have been taking, and will continue to take, extra measures to ensure continued safe transport of critical goods and supplies to coastal B.C. communities. If you have a chance to relay a ‘thank-you’ to our teams online, please do.

BC Ferries provides a lifeline to remote and to coastal communities in British Columbia, and will continue to provide vital services, such as delivering medical supplies and groceries to support communities.

For more information on all the steps BC Ferries is taking during COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 response page. For more information on schedules visit bcferries.com/schedules. BC Ferries hopes to resume the levels of service customers have come to expect soon.

Read more

Accessibility

To ensure a safe and comfortable sailing for all passengers, we provide a variety of accessibility options.
 

Discounted passenger fares

We offer discounts for passengers with a BC Ferries Accessibility Fare Identification (AFI) Card. You can present your AFI Card to the ticket agent when you arrive at the terminal to receive your discount.

Accessibility at our larger terminals

The following accessibility options are available at our larger terminals:

  • Accessible parking spaces
  • Wheelchair access to all passenger areas
  • Designated priority seating in waiting lounges
  • Wheelchairs to borrow for boarding (check availability when booking online)

Accessibility on our larger ferries

Accessibility options available on board larger ferries travelling between Vancouver and Vancouver Island:
 
  • Accessible passenger areas and cafeteria
  • Designated priority seating
  • Elevator access (see more below)
  • Induction loop hearing systems (see more below)
  • Ramps to board the ferry

More accessibility information

Accessibility Committee
We’re committed to improving accessibility throughout our fleet and terminals. We work with representatives from various organizations to learn how we can improve our services for customers with accessibility needs.

BC Ferries follows universal design standards for transportation—and we continuously work to upgrade our ferries.

Here's what our Accessibility Committee has been working on:

 
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Boarding assistance
At this time wheelchair reservations and wheelchair assistance are not available. Wheelchairs can still be requested upon arrival at the terminal. To support physical distancing and to reduce the risk of spreading infectious disease including COVID-19, BC Ferries staff are unable to provide wheelchair assistance at terminals or on board ferries.
C-MIST form
C-MIST stands for Communication, Medical, Independence, Supervision and Transportation.
 
  • Persons who will require special assistance, in the event of an emergency, are asked to advise the ticket agent on arrival at the terminal
  • Once you have boarded the vessel please discuss your needs with the Chief Steward or request to speak with the ship’s First Officer
  • To communicate your requirements to our staff, complete a C-MIST form and bring it with you when you travel
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Elevator access
If you need a parking spot close to the elevator, follow these steps:
 
  • When you book online, select the accessibility option
  • If you book your reservation over the phone, advise the agent of your requirements
  • Arrive as early as possible for your sailing
  • Advise the ticket agent at the ticket booth of your requirements so they can advise the loading crew and guide you to the best lane
  • Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights once you are directed to board
  • A staff member will direct you to a parking spot as close to the elevator as possible

Important: If you are a person who requires the use of a wheelchair or walking aid, let the ticket agent know when you arrive at the terminal, and they will do their best to get you a spot close to the elevator on the ferry. A few things to note:
 
  • Parking next to the elevator on the ferry is limited
  • If parking next to an elevator is essential, and spaces are taken, you may need to be accommodated on the next available sailing
  • Once we have loaded cars onto the ferry, we cannot offload to make space available near an elevator
  • For your safety during extreme weather, onboard elevators may be unavailable
  • Due to Transport Canada regulations, customers are not permitted to remain on closed car decks

 

Ferries with accessible washrooms

Ferries with elevators
Guide dogs and service animals
We accept guide, service and emotional support dogs for passengers with disabilities in accordance with the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act and B.C.’s Human Rights Code. Customers with a guide, service or emotional support dog are welcome in all public areas of our ferries and terminals. 

We expect guide, service and emotional support dogs to be well-trained and not act disruptive or aggressive towards crew or passengers. If a guide, service or emotional support dog is behaving inappropriately, we may restrict the dog’s movement onboard our ferries and at our terminals. 

Passengers traveling with a guide, service, or emotional support animal other than a dog may be directed to a pet area and car decks where they can remain with their animal.
Induction loop hearing systems
Onboard safety video
At the beginning of each sailing, a safety video is played in the passenger lounges on most of our ferries sailing between Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
Passengers with a visual-impairment travelling with BC Ferries Connector

Vancouver (Tsawwassen) - Victoria (Swartz Bay)

Sighted-guide assistance is available to help you get from the bus (once it arrives on the car deck) up to the passenger deck, and back when the ferry arrives at its destination. Here's how it works:

  • Tell the driver you require sighted-guide assistance from the car deck to the passenger deck on the ferry when you board the bus
  • The driver will advise the BC Ferries ticket agent of your request when the bus enters the terminal
  • Once on board, a member of our staff will meet your bus and guide you to the passenger deck
  • It's important that you let the driver and the onboard staff know if you 'll be returning to the bus when the ferry docks, or if you will be disembarking as a foot passenger
  • If you plan to explore the passenger decks during your sailing, ensure you advise the onboard staff as to where they will be able to find you on arrival to assist you with disembarking

Terminals with elevators

Passenger amenities are available on the ground floor of each of these terminals.
Visitor passes
Assisting friends and family with accessibility needs to the pre-boarding area at the terminal will help ensure they make their sailing. Pick up a Visitor Pass at the foot passenger ticket booth when you arrive (please bring valid government-issued, photo ID). 
 
Wheelchair availability at the terminal
A limited number of wheelchairs are available for boarding at our terminals. Our larger ferries have wheelchairs on board if you require one during your sailing.

How to let us know that you require a wheelchair at the terminal:
 
  • If you're booking online, select the accessibility option and add a wheelchair to your reservation.
  • If you're booking over the phone, advise the agent.
  • If you choose to travel without a booking, call 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779) to request a wheelchair at least 48 hours before your scheduled sailing.
Wheelchair accessible cabins
Ferries sailing on the following routes have a number of cabins designed to meet your accessibility needs:
 
  • Port Hardy (Bear Cove) – Prince Rupert
  • Prince Rupert – Graham Island (Skidegate)
Note: If you use a wheelchair, or have mobility challenges, you can reserve a wheelchair-accessible cabin.

 

Useful links


Contact us

We're here to help. If you have any questions about accessibility on our ferries or at our terminals, call 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779). If you have TTY you can contact us through TELUS relay services at 711.