Travel advisory: Safe travel this fall - Last updated October 14, 2021 View ×

Your journey. Your safety. Our priority. 

Canada-wide recreational travel is back and all BC Ferries routes are open to all types of travel.

Extra cleaning and sanitizing measures will remain in place to ensure a safe travel experience for customers and crew this fall.

Following the direction of the Provincial Health Officer, as of October 12:

  • Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces on BC Ferries vessels and at terminals for all passengers 5 and older, with the following exceptions:
    • when inside a vehicle
    • when consuming food or drinks in designated areas
    • persons with a 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
  • 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. 
 

Travel to Indigenous Communities 

In keeping with BC’s Restart Plan, most Indigenous communities in BC are accepting visitors as of June 15th. Haida Gwaii will start to accept visitors from BC and across Canada from July 1st onwards. Before visiting, we recommend that you check the latest information available from the accommodation, activity and local transportation businesses you are planning to visit and use. 

Indigenous Tourism BC has a list of Indigenous communities and experiences in the province that are currently open and welcoming visitors, including tips on how to visit responsibly.
 

Foot passengers

When travelling, masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces on BC Ferries vessels and at terminals for passengers 5 and older, with the above exceptions. Reservations for foot passengers are available for travel between Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen - Duke Point, Horseshoe Bay - Departure Bay, 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.

 

Additional information

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For Immediate Release
20-048
September 9, 2020

Transport Canada rescinds temporary flexibility for passengers to remain on enclosed vehicle decks

Customers must leave enclosed vehicle deck on BC Ferries’ vessels as of Sept. 30


VICTORIA – BC Ferries is informing customers that as of Sept. 30, 2020, Transport Canada is rescinding the temporary flexibility it granted to ferry operators allowing passengers to remain in their vehicle on enclosed vehicle decks. Transport Canada granted this flexibility in the spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

BC Ferries must comply with Transport Canada regulations and the company supports the regulation and its intent. Enclosed 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. However, Transport Canada has now advised BC Ferries 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 enclosed car deck is clear.

BC Ferries has implemented the measures to which Transport Canada refers above. This includes additional cleaning, sanitization, physical distancing and mandatory wearing of face coverings while at the terminal and onboard the vessel. The company will also reopen certain areas of the vessels, such as the Pacific Buffet area on the Spirit Class vessels, for seating only, as a way to provide passengers more space for physical distancing. Buffet food service is not being reintroduced at this time.

“Safety is our highest value and we provide a safe and healthy travel experience. Customers are legally required to comply with this federal regulation,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President & CEO. “We expect our customers to follow the law and we continue to have zero tolerance policy for abuse of any kind towards our employees. Failure to follow the direction of our crew or abuse towards an employee may result in denial of service and Transport Canada enforcement measures.”

When Transport Canada rescinds the temporary flexibility on Sept. 30, BC Ferries will implement its procedures for the regulation on affected routes, which are:
  • Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay
  • Tsawwassen – Duke Point
  • Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay
  • Powell River – Comox
  • Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands
The temporary flexibility to the regulation was not implemented to northern routes between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert and Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii, and so those routes remain unchanged.

On the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route, BC Ferries has approval from Transport Canada to safely allow passengers to remain on the main vehicle deck following modifications to the vessels and procedures. This does not apply to any other routes.

BC Ferries’ crew will inform passengers on closed car decks of their responsibility to comply with Transport Canada’s regulation. Access restrictions to enclosed vehicle decks will not apply when passengers are directed by announcement to return to their vehicles before the vessel docks. On larger vessels with both an upper (open) and lower (enclosed) vehicle deck, customers will still be able to remain in their vehicles on the upper vehicle deck.

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.
 
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Media Contact:
BC Ferries, Media Relations
Victoria: (250) 978-1267

Customer Contact:
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 line at (250) 516-7211.