Travel Advisory: COVID-19 Update – Important information – Last updated September 9, 2020 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 during this gradual resumption of service. 

We will continue to engage coastal communities in decisions that are important to them, be transparent about the progress we are making towards recovery, and the role we can play to help the recovery of British Columbia.

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.

 

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

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Canada granted ferry operators that allows passengers to remain in their vehicle on enclosed vehicle decks is being rescinded by the regulator on September 30th, 2020.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?
  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.

Back to school

BC Ferries is reminding customers that students across British Columbia are returning to school. As a result, the Chemainus-Thetis-Penelakut route, Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola route, and Bowen Island – Horseshoe Bay route will experience increased ridership as students commute to school via the ferry.

BC Ferries is requesting assistance from the public to ensure we can safely accommodate all passengers on school days. In order to ensure adequate space for physical distancing onboard, we are requesting that all vehicle passengers remain in their cars for the duration of the morning sailings between 7:00 am and 8:00 am Monday – Friday. By remaining in your vehicle, this will create space for students travelling as foot passengers who will require access to the lounge and deck areas in order to maintain physical distance. 

BC Ferries’ priority is the health and safety of our customers and employees, and the company strictly adheres to provincial and federal guidelines. The company is following the directives and guidance provided by the Province of B.C. and Transport Canada. Customers are reminded that wearing a face covering is mandatory while onboard and at the terminal.

 

Northern routes

For northern and mid-coast communities, BC Ferries will continue to operate at the current off-peak (winter) service levels. This means the Northern Expedition will travel between Port Hardy – Prince Rupert and Prince Rupert – Skidegate. The summer direct service from Bella Coola to Port Hardy will not be introduced at this time. Instead, service to these communities will continue to be provided by the Nimpkish and Northern Expedition. For more information on the revised 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

All customers with a confirmed BC Ferries Vacations booking that has been impacted by the service level adjustments will be contacted directly by a BC Ferries Vacations agent. We will work with you to adjust your travel plans. We will be contacting guests in order of departure date. 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

 

Assured Loading Card

In order for BC Ferries to comply with temporary emergency measures and orders issued by the Province and Transport Canada, be aware that while the Ministerial Order is in place, your use of Assured Loading tickets may be denied in order to ensure essential travellers are accommodated. To avoid sailing delays, at this time we ask Assured Loading ticket holders if an essential service or resident, to book in advance instead of using an Assured Loading Card. For more details, visit the COVID-19 page.

Other important information

  • Pay with a card and use 'Tap' where possible. We are encouraging the use electronic payment (Debit, Credit or BC Ferries Experience™ Card) during this time.
  • Many terminal and onboard amenities are reopening. View our news release for details.
  • Quay Markets reopening as of Friday June 26th. Visit tsawwassenquay.com and nanaimoquay.com for a list of businesses reopening and the latest updates.
  • Wheelchair Assistance is not currently available 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.

Vehicles with U.S. licence 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

To ensure our service meets the needs of communities across coastal BC, we regularly consult with the 13 Ferry Advisory Committees comprised of residents who represent local communities serviced by our inter-island routes.

We meet with these committees to discuss day-to-day operations, planned improvements, fares, service changes and new projects. Meetings, held in the spring and the fall, are open to the public to observe and learn information relevant to ferry service in the community. Look for notices on specific dates and times of a meeting in your area.
PDF 102 KB | 3 pages

PDF 41 KB | 2 pages


Select a region for contacts, meetings and resources:

Bowen Island committee

Documents


PDF 111 KB | 2 pages

 
PDF 290 KB | 2 pages

 

 
PDF 56 KB | 7 pages

 

 

 
PDF 46 KB | 5 pages

 
PDF 53 KB | 6 pages

 
Brentwood Bay – Mill Bay committee

Marine Superintendent


Committee

Chair: Members: Malahat First Nation:
  • Open


Next meeting

  • TBD

Documents

PDF 37 KB | 4 pages
PDF 29 KB | 2 pages
Campbell River – Quadra Island – Cortes Island committee
Chemainus – Thetis Island – Penelakut Island committee

Marine Superintendent


Committee

Chairs Members
Thetis Island Penelakut Island School District 79:


Next meeting

  • TBD
Denman Island – Hornby Island committee

Marine Superintendent


Committee

Chair: Members:
Denman Island Hornby Island Comox Valley Regional District:
  • Vacant


Next meeting

  • TBD
Gabriola Island committee
Gambier Island – Langdale – Keats Island committee

Marine Superintendent


Committee

Chair: Members:
Gambier Island Keats Island Kona Winds, operator of the Stormaway water taxi


Next meeting

  • TBD
North & Central Coast committee

Marine Superintendent


Committee

Chairs: Members:
Haida Gwaii
Prince Rupert Central Coast Port Hardy 


Next meeting

  • TBD
Northern Sunshine Coast committee

Marine Superintendent


Committee

Chair: Members :
Powell River Texada Island Sunshine Coast Tourism


Next meeting

  • TBD
Salt Spring Island committee
Southern Gulf Islands committee

Marine Superintendent

  • Captain Hardeep Grewal


Committee

Chairs: Members:
Member-at-large: Galiano Island Mayne Island Pender Island Saturna Island


Next meeting

  • TBD
Southern Sunshine Coast committee

Marine Superintendent


Committee

Chair: Members: Sunshine Coast Tourism:


Next meeting

  • TBD
Tri–Island committee

Marine Superintendent


Committee

Chair: Members:
Port McNeill Alert Bay
  • Mr. George Alfred  (email pending)
  • Art Dick
Sointula


Next meeting

  • TBD

Documents

PDF 108 KB | 2 pages
PDF 34 KB | 3 pages
We're here to help. If you have any questions about the Ferry Advisory Committees, you can email us at FACinfo@bcferries.com