Travel Advisory: COVID-19 Update - Important information - Last updated January 11, 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 January 7, 2021 Dr. Bonnie Henry announced an update to the COVID-19 restrictions (in effect November 7 - February 5, 2021), 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 - February 5, 2021) 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

For Immediate Release
20-054
Oct. 5, 2020

Travel safely with BC Ferries this Thanksgiving Long Weekend

Wear a face covering to protect yourself and others, spread out on the ferry and stay in your vehicle on upper vehicle deck

VICTORIA – Customers planning to travel this Thanksgiving long weekend and explore coastal B.C. can do so safely with BC Ferries, here’s how:

Travel tips:
  • Book in advance. This guarantees you get on the sailing of your choice. BC Ferries recently launch a new mobile-friendly website that makes it simpler for customers to book and manage their bookings online. For full schedule information, current conditions and bookings, please visit the new bcferries.com.
     
  • Wear your face covering. For your safety, and 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. There are some exceptions listed on bcferries.com. Customers who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition may be asked to provide a medical certificate.
     
  • If you are travelling without a booking, you may experience sailing waits during popular sailing times. If you’d like to have a shorter wait, here are some of the less busy times you can travel from Oct. 8 – Oct. 12:
     
    • For the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route, the 9:10 pm and 11:20 pm sailings departing Horseshoe Bay, and the 6:20 am and 10:15 pm departing Langdale.
       
    • For the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route, the 6:30 am and 10:10 pm sailings departing Horseshoe Bay, and the 6:30 am departing Departure Bay.
       
  • Spread out on the ferry and enjoy the amenities. BC Ferries has opened up additional space on board for customers to spread out and 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, to one of the passenger areas or the outer decks.
     
  • If you’re travelling by foot, BC Ferries recommends you arrive early and be prepared for the weather. For the safety of passengers, BC Ferries cannot permit crowding in its foot passenger areas so some passengers may be required to queue outdoors. As we have moved into the cooler fall weather, please check the forecast and bring an umbrella if necessary. Some sailings may reach passenger capacity, meaning foot passengers may also experience a sailing wait, and BC Ferries wants you to be comfortable.
     
  • Know before you go. The most popular travel times are generally Thursday and Friday afternoon, as well as Saturday morning, with many travellers departing from Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay terminals. Historically, the Sunday, Thanksgiving Monday and the following Tuesday morning are popular times for people to return from Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast via Langdale, Departure Bay, Duke Point and Swartz Bay terminals.
     
  • For customers looking to get away safely this Thanksgiving long weekend, BC Ferries Vacations is offering a free room upgrade at over 40 hotels when you book a 2-night package including return ferry travel. Choose from destinations like Victoria, Ucluelet, Vancouver or the Southern Gulf Islands. To book or find out more about BC Ferries Vacations packages, visit bcferries.com/vacations or drop by the BC Ferries Vacations Centre in downtown Vancouver at 1010 Canada Place.
     
  • Passengers travelling on enclosed vehicle decks are required to leave their vehicles 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 plenty of space on board.
     
The health and safety of employees and customers is BC Ferries’ top priority, and the company assures customers it continues to have many additional measures in place for your safety and to prevent the spread of illness, including:
 
  • Transport Canada COVID-19 screening is in effect. Please arrive at least an hour before your sailing as it can take a little longer at check in.
     
  • Mandatory face coverings on board and at our terminals. This is for your safety, as well as the health and safety of other passengers and our crew.
     
  • Additional preventive measures including support for physical distancing, allowing customers to remain in their vehicles on upper (open) vehicle decks during the sailing, enhanced cleaning and physical barriers. Tap & Pay is encouraged and available on board and at our terminals for contactless payment.
     
BC Ferries does not tolerate any abuse, including verbal abuse, towards its employees. Please remember employees there to get you to your destination safely. BC Ferries takes this matter seriously, and a customer who abuses an employee, including verbal abuse, will be denied service. Let’s continue to heed Dr. Bonnie Henry’s sage advice: to be kind, be calm and be safe.
 
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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.