Travel Advisory: COVID-19 Update - Important information - Last updated April 23, 2021 View ×

Essential travel only, new travel restrictions

In support of the provincial travel restrictions Order M172 that went into effect on April 23, BC Ferries will deny travel to customers, including recreational vehicles, crossing between different health regions as defined by the Order. This affects the following routes:

  • Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay
  • Tsawwassen – Duke Point
  • Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands
  • Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay
  • Comox – Powell River
  • Port Hardy – Prince Rupert

Customers travelling on these routes will be asked if their travel is essential, and denied passage if it is not essential. Customers travelling on routes that operate within the same regional zone will be reminded they should be avoiding non-essential travel at this time. These restrictions are in effect until May 25th. 

Find out more about these restrictions including what the Province deems as reasons for essential travel here.
 

Masks are mandatory

All passengers must wear non-medical masks or face coverings when at terminals and on board ferries.  Learn more.
 

Transport Canada 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.  Learn more.
 

Indigenous Communities 

The Province of British Columbia advises that many First Nations communities have declared a state of emergency and enacted COVID-19 community protection by-laws including travel bans for non-residents and non-essential visitors. It is important to respect these restrictions in addition to the province-wide travel advisory. For more information, click here

 

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.
 

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
  • For more information on schedules visit bcferries.com/schedules

 

Read more

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                   
21-012
April 23, 2021

Update from BC Ferries regarding Provincial Travel Restrictions Order

VICTORIA – Starting immediately, in support of the provincial travel restrictions Order announced today by the Province, BC Ferries will deny travel to customers travelling for non-essential reasons on routes crossing regional zones as defined in the Order. This affects the following routes:
 
  • Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay
  • Tsawwassen – Duke Point
  • Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands
  • Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay
  • Comox – Powell River
  • Port Hardy – Prince Rupert

Customers travelling on these routes will be asked if their travel is essential, and denied passage if it is not essential. Customers travelling on routes that operate within the same regional zone will be reminded they should be avoiding non-essential travel at this time. The Province defines situations that qualify as essential travel here.

“BC Ferries supports doing everything we can to discourage non-essential travel, and this Order gives us the legal authority we need to deny travel for non-essential reasons,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “Our employees continue to work hard providing service transporting people, goods and medical supplies to coastal BC communities for essential reasons, and I’m proud of the work they are doing.”

BC Ferries will rely on other jurisdictional authorities for assistance with enforcement of this Order. As a result of the Order, BC Ferries is not scheduling extra sailings for the May long weekend. The company has also added a check box to the online booking flow of the website to ensure customers read and acknowledge they are travelling for essential reasons when making a booking. Since November, BC Ferries has been regularly advising customers to avoid non-essential travel.

“It is vitally important for people to stay close to home over these next five weeks so we can drive down the spread of COVID and look forward to a more familiar summer,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “The vast majority of people are putting the health and safety of others first, and the added measures we’re now taking are meant to ensure others don’t travel unless it is essential.”  

BC Ferries employees have continued to ensure the ferry system operates safely and efficiently through this pandemic. The company has a zero tolerance policy for abuse, both verbal and physical, towards its employees. Any customer who abuses an employee will be banned from travel. The company also asks customers to be kind to other customers travelling for essential reasons. It is possible customers may be travelling with out-of-province license plates or recreational vehicles for essential reasons. Please continue to be kind, be calm and be safe towards our employees and other customers.

For schedules and information about travelling for essential reasons with BC Ferries during COVID-19, visit bcferries.com.
 
- 30 -

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)