Travel Advisory: COVID-19 Update - Important information - Last updated February 5, 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 February 5, 2021 Dr. Bonnie Henry announced an update to the COVID-19 restrictions (in effect November 7 until further notice), 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 until further notice) 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

Organizations in British Columbia collaborate for a safer B.C. to source and distribute one million masks in support of safe, essential travel

Business, transportation, logistics, and community organizations come together; distributing masks to those who need them in communities across the province


Vancouver, February 10th, 2021 – Recognizing that we all have a role to play in taking action to protect our communities from the continued impact of COVID-19, particularly with the indefinite extension of public health restrictions, Deloitte Canada is joining forces with leading B.C. organizations including TransLink, OEC Group, Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR), BC Ferries, BCAA, SCI, and BC Transit, to source and distribute one million surgical masks to those who need them across the province. The distribution of these much-needed masks is being led by United Way and will help ensure a safer journey for all British Columbians.

 “Everyone is doing their part to flatten the COVID-19 curve and we know that masks do make a difference,” said Michael McKnight, President of United Way Lower Mainland. “We are incredibly gratified to see this kind of collaboration with organizations coming together for their communities to make for a safer, stronger B.C. now and into the future.”

The vast majority of British Columbians are able to adhere to B.C.’s mandatory face-covering rules. However, the United Way identified a concern that not everyone who needs to travel to access essential public services or for other essential reasons has the means or ability to obtain a clean face mask. This has prompted Deloitte to team up with TransLink, and a variety of other organizations to help solve this challenge.

 “For Deloitte, this is about making an impact that matters when it comes to equality, prosperity, and fairness for all British Columbians,” said Etienne Bruson, Vice Chair of Deloitte in British Columbia. “We wanted to do all we could in collaboration with B.C. businesses and other organizations in taking the first steps towards reinforcing confidence in the transportation sector and getting our economy moving again, safely.”

“We’ve seen that wearing masks goes a long way in controlling the spread of COVID-19, which is why TransLink implemented our mandatory mask policy last summer,” said TransLink Interim CEO Gigi Chen-Kuo. “We are joining this initiative to continue encouraging mask use so that we can move towards recovery and welcome more of our customers back onto transit.”

Distribution of the one million masks began in Metro Vancouver in late January, expanding throughout 45 different British Columbia coastal communities and the Interior this week via United Way’s province-wide support network of over 100 local agency locations. It is expected that this distribution targeting a variety of populations from kids and young families to seniors and the homeless population will continue through March.

“OEC Group was delighted when Deloitte asked us to take part in this mission. We strongly believe in the importance of masks and social distancing during this pandemic. We know that masks, hand washing, and physical distancing are the best methods we have to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” said Landon Bibeau, CMO at OEC Group.

“At YVR, people and their safety are at the center of everything we do. We are committed to giving back to our community and providing an essential service ensuring that those who need to travel are able to do so safely,” said Richard Beed, Vice President, People and Brand at YVR. “That is why we are proud to be supporting this important initiative alongside Deloitte and leading BC organizations to help get masks to deserving British Columbians.”

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our number one priority has been to keep customers, employees, and coastal communities safe,” said Mark Collins, CEO of BC Ferries. “Collaborating for this initiative demonstrates our commitment to keeping British Columbians and our economy safe and moving.”

“We appreciate the support of the BC Transit customers who have been doing their part by wearing face coverings throughout the pandemic,” said Erinn Pinkerton, President and CEO of BC Transit. “We are proud to be a part of this initiative, which will help ensure that everyone has access to appropriate face coverings to help protect their fellow travelers. We’re all in this together.”

“After partnering with United Way earlier in the pandemic to distribute much-needed food donations to lower mainland communities, we are happy to work with them once again to help protect BC communities and keep people moving safely,” said Eric Hopkins, BCAA President & CEO.

Collaborating for a safer, stronger B.C. helps to build the confidence and foundation needed for economic recovery in 2021 and beyond.

For more information about the program, locations, and how those who need masks can obtain them via the local UWLM community partner/agency: www.uwlm.ca/onemillionmasks
 
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About the Collaboration
Deloitte and OEC Group worked together to source one million non-medical masks to support those who may need a mask but were not able to access one. Other organizations also joined these efforts including TransLink, Vancouver International Airport (YVR), BC Ferries, BCAA, SCI, and BC Transit to support United Way to distribute the masks so all British Columbians can safely access public transit and transportation services for essential travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Media Contacts
Lucy May Bradshaw
Hill + Knowlton Strategies
Tel: 236-788-8325
Email: lucymay.bradshaw@hkstrategies.ca

Deborah Marshall
BC Ferries
Tel: 250-978-1267
Email : deborah.marshall@bcferries.com