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Extra cleaning and sanitizing measures remain in place to ensure a safe travel experience for customers and crew.
Following the direction of the Provincial Health Officer, as of March 10:
- Masks are recommended in all indoor spaces for passengers five and older. This includes indoor areas on board BC Ferries vessels and at terminals.
- We're asking customers to respect their fellow passengers and our crews. Everyone's comfort level may be different during the easing of restrictions.
- Proof of vaccination is not required.
- Be respectful of others’ personal space and continue to practice good hygiene, including frequent handwashing.
- If you or anyone in your family feel sick stay home and get tested.
- Find more information on BC’s Restart Plan and how it impacts your travel plans.
We’re asking customers to continue to heed Dr. Bonnie Henry's advice to be kind, be calm, and be safe. BC Ferries does not tolerate any abuse, including verbal abuse, towards its employees. Any customer who abuses an employee will be denied service.
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to wear a mask?
Following the direction of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), masks are recommended in all indoor public spaces on board BC Ferries’ vessels and at terminals. Proof of vaccination is not required at this time.
Do I need to provide proof of vaccination to travel with BC Ferries?
Is physical distancing of 2 metres still required?
For your safety, careful social contact is still recommended. Be respectful and give people space when possible.
What safety measures remain in place?
Your safety is our top priority. Measures remain in place to keep you safe and moving including: plexiglass barriers, enhanced cleaning measures, sanitizer stations and adequate ventilation to maximize the flow of fresh air. We continue to use take-out packaging for food and beverage services.
Per Transport Canada safety regulations, passengers loaded on enclosed lower decks are required to leave their vehicle during the sailing.
You can find the regulation in Section 152 of the Cargo, Tackle and Fumigation Regulations under the Canada Shipping Act. For more information, visit tc.gc.ca.
Which ferries does Transport Canada’s regulation apply to?
- Spirit of British Columbia
- Spirit of Vancouver Island
- Coastal Renaissance
- Coastal Inspiration
- Coastal Celebration
- Queen of Alberni
- Queen of Coquitlam (while operating on Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route)
- Queen of Cowichan (while operating on the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route)
- Queen of New Westminster
- Queen of Oak Bay (if operating on Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route)
- Salish Orca
- Salish Eagle
- Salish Raven
- Northern Expedition
- Northern Adventure
- Northern Sea Wolf (Not currently in operation)
Which routes does Transport Canada’s regulation apply to?
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay)
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Nanaimo (Duke Point)
- Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Nanaimo (Departure Bay)
- Powell River (Westview) – Comox (Little River)
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Southern Gulf Islands
We’re being told we need to practice physical distancing and you’re forcing us to come upstairs. Why?
BC Ferries must comply with Transport Canada regulations. The company supports the regulation and its intent. Closed car decks are spaces that represent inherent risk to the travelling public. During the pandemic these risks were mitigated with additional safety procedures and patrols. Transport Canada has now advised us that measures have been developed and implemented to prevent the spread of the disease in all transportation modes and businesses across Canada. They have further advised the marine safety case for ending the practice of permitting people to remain in their vehicles on a closed car deck is clear.
BC Ferries has implemented the measures to which Transport Canada refers above. This includes additional cleaning, sanitization, physical distancing and the recommendation that passengers wear face coverings indoors at our terminals and onboard ferries. The company will also reopen certain areas of the ferries, such as the Pacific Buffet area on the Spirit Class ferries, for seating only, as a way to provide passengers more space for physical distancing. Buffet food service is not being reintroduced at this time.
If you have concerns about the regulation, contact Transport Canada directly. The regulation can be found in Section 152 of the Cargo, Tackle and Fumigation Regulations under the Canada Shipping Act. For more information, visit tc.gc.ca.
Why are you not reimplementing procedures on the ships on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route?
We received approval from Transport Canada for customers to remain in their vehicle on the main (lower) vehicle deck on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route while travelling on the Queen of Surrey, Queen of Cowichan, Queen of Coquitlam or Queen of Oak Bay ferries (if operating on the route).
The ferries on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route operate in ‘sheltered’ waters as defined by Transport Canada. We received approval from Transport Canada to operate the ferries on that route with the stern doors open and a steel barrier gate across the opening was installed to ensure safety and meet the requirements of an ‘open’ main car deck. At times the ships operate with the stern doors closed, in which case customers on the main car deck must leave their vehicles.
Why is the upper (open) vehicle deck not cleared of all passengers, surely the same reasons for the lower (closed) deck to be cleared can be used on the upper deck?
The regulation is in place to support passenger safety in the event of an accident and only applies to closed vehicle decks. This is due to a variety of factors, such as passengers being further away from an evacuation area in the rare event of an emergency. The upper vehicle deck is not a part of the regulation, primarily due to being open to the external environment.
Are any vehicles exempt and why?
Broadly speaking, the vehicles that do not have to comply are vehicles that due to the nature of operation require their operators to be present, including but not limited to: ambulances, other emergency vehicles and livestock carriers.
I want to request/book/reserve to be on the upper vehicle deck?
You can request to be on the upper vehicle deck to the ticket agent when you check in and we will try to accommodate your request when possible.
This is not always possible and you may need to wait for the next sailing to get on the upper vehicle deck. The final decision to load a vehicle on the upper or lower car deck rests with the Loading Officer who is responsible for the safe stowage of all vehicles/cargo. Passengers with bookings are more likely to be loaded on the upper vehicle deck.