December 10, 2020
BC Ferries encourages essential travel only this holiday season
Delivery of goods and holiday packages remain a priorityVICTORIA – BC Ferries is advising customers to avoid non-essential travel over the holiday period, in keeping with direction provided by the Province of British Columbia. The company continues to transport commercial traffic, delivering essential goods and services to coastal communities. Commercial traffic, in fact, is as strong or stronger across all routes than for this same period last year.
For customers who need to travel for essential reasons, BC Ferries offers the following advice to support safe travel this holiday season:
- Plan in advance. Priority will be to keep essential goods, groceries, holiday letters and packages moving.
- Book in advance. This guarantees passengers travel on the sailing of their choice. BC Ferries recently launched a new mobile-friendly website that makes it easier for customers to book and manage their bookings online. For full schedule information, current conditions and bookings, please visit the new bcferries.com
- Wear a face covering. For the health and safety of other passengers and crew, BC Ferries requires all customers to wear non-medical masks or face coverings at terminals and while on board ferries. Some exceptions are listed on bcferries.com and customers who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition may be asked to provide a medical certificate. Travellers without a face covering who do not meet the exceptions may be refused travel.
- Maintain physical distancing on board. BC Ferries has opened up additional space on board so customers can maintain physical distancing. “Grab and go” limited hot food and items are available on select vessels and routes. Grab a bite and take it back to your vehicle on the upper deck, or to one of the passenger areas or the outer decks.
- Arrive early if you’re travelling by foot and be prepared for the weather. For the safety of passengers, BC Ferries does not permit crowding in its foot passenger areas, so some passengers may have to queue outdoors. Please check the forecast and bring an umbrella if necessary.
- Leave your vehicle if travelling on an enclosed vehicle deck during the sailing to comply with Transport Canada’s regulation. At this time of year, the enclosed decks remain cool and there are pet areas on the upper decks for passengers with pets, as well as enough space on board to maintain physical distancing.
- Arrive at least an hour before your sailing, as Transport Canada COVID-19 screening is in effect and it can take a little longer at check in.
- For those who have to travel for essential reasons, BC Ferries Vacations can assist with travel bookings for hotel and ferry travel to Victoria and Vancouver. Please contact 1-888-223-3779 Ext. 3 for more information.
The health and safety of employees and customers is BC Ferries’ top priority. The company assures customers it continues to have many additional measures in place for their safety and to prevent the spread of illness. These measures include additional cleaning and sanitization, support for physical distancing and physical barriers. BC Ferries encourages Tap & Pay, which is available on board and at terminals to support contactless payment.
Customers affected by the extended travel restrictions are encouraged to contact BC Ferries to change or cancel their holiday travel bookings. Reservations fees for existing bookings will be refunded for travel between now and January 8, 2021. Please contact 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779) for assistance.
BC Ferries does not tolerate any abuse, including verbal abuse, towards its employees or other passengers. BC Ferries takes this matter seriously, and a customer who abuses an employee or fellow passenger, including verbal abuse, may be denied service. BC Ferries asks customers to heed Dr. Bonnie Henry’s sage advice: be kind, be calm and be safe. For more information and the measures BC Ferries is taking in response to COVID-19, visit bcferries.com.
- 30 -Media Contact:
BC Ferries, Media Relations
Victoria: (250) 978-1267
Victoria: (250) 386-3431
Toll-free: 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779)
Note to newsrooms: For urgent media inquiries off-hours, call our emergency pager at (250) 516-7211.