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.

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BC is known for its diverse regions, from the vast wilderness of Northern BC, to the crystal-clear waters along the Sunshine Coast, to the outdoor playground of Vancouver Island. Find your next destination today.

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People hiking down Black Tusk in Garibaldi Provincial Park near Whistler British Columbia at dusk

Coast Mountains

Adventure to the Coast Mountains region, north of Vancouver for breathtaking views of glacial lakes, ocean, mountains and forests. Enjoy a wide range of exhilarating outdoor activities, including first-class winter and summer sports on two of the most popular mountains in North America, located in Whistler. The region is home to many local breweries and farm-to-table restaurants, providing deliciously fresh options for all tastes.  

Aerial view of the west coast of Vancouver Island

Victoria & Vancouver Island

Treat yourself to a scenic ferry ride to Vancouver Island and stay a while to discover all that this region has to offer. Enjoy countless parks and forests, pebbled and sandy beaches, mountains, sunken ocean treasures, craft beers on the BC Ale Trail, delicious wines, farm-fresh food and more.

In the summer, you can embark on almost any type of outdoor adventure, including, kayaking, diving, fishing, biking, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, ziplining and swimming. And you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and storm watching in the winter. Plus, don’t forget about the wildlife, including, black bears, herons, eagles, seals and migrating whales.

Grizzly bear standing near stream ontop of bright green moss in Prince Rupert

Northern British Columbia

Travel to Northern BC to experience once in a lifetime adventures. Enjoy spectacular snow-capped mountains, enormous glaciers, lakes, forests, and pristine coastlines. Soak up Indigenous culture and history, search for the rare Kermode bear (spirit bear), and take some time to relax and soak in the surrounding wilderness. 

For a truly unforgettable Northern experience, sail to the remote island of Haida Gwaii, Canada's Galapagos, to immerse yourself in ancient culture and embark on world-class outdoor adventures—from whale watching, to fishing, surfing, kayaking and hiking.

A couple walking through Evolve Cellars Vineyard in Thompson Okanagan towards Okanagan Lake and the mountain

Thompson Okanagan

Visit one of the warmest, sunniest, and driest regions in Canada. The Mediterranean-like climate makes the Thompson Okanagan the perfect place for orchards and vineyards, providing award-winning wines for every taste.

During the summer, you can enjoy the hot climate, clear lakes and sandy beaches, and a wide variety of outdoor activities like swimming, fishing, canoeing, golfing, camping and wildlife viewing, along with visits to local renowned wineries. During the winter months, there’s cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and downhill skiing at popular ski resorts, plus try new activities on the slopes like fat biking and snow tubing.

The calm waters near the rocky edges of Saltery Bay Provincial Park at sunset on the Sunshine Coast BC

Sunshine Coast

Discover secluded beaches, fjords, inlets and bays framed by old-growth rainforests and the majestic Coast Mountains on the Sunshine Coast. Visit the unique towns, full of character dotted along the coast, and take advantage of the warmer climate where you can swim in the ocean most months of the year.  

The shoreline provides some of the most rugged scenery in the province, and stretches along the Strait of Georgia from Howe Sound to Desolation Sound. The area is rich with local history and culture, with many restaurants, cafés, museums and galleries, and a wide variety of writing and craft festivals.

A grizzly bear standing on its two hind feet next to a tree in the Great Bear Rainforest in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast

Visit the vast landscape of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast—stretching from the Pacific Ocean, across the Cariboo Mountains, to Alberta—abundant with crystal-clear lakes and rivers, forests, craggy peaks, unspoiled waterfalls, and some of the best wildlife viewing in Canada.

This expansive region, with wide open spaces, once bustled with miners, cowboys and prospectors searching for adventure and riches during the gold rush.

Hiker on trail to Nub Peak with views of Magog Lake Sunburst Lake Cerulean Lake and Mount Assiniboine in Kootenay Rockies

Kootenay Rockies

Escape to the Kootenay Rockies in the southeast corner of BC, next to the Alberta border to discover vibrantly coloured lakes and awe-inspiring mountain ranges. Home to four of BC’s seven national parks and four mountain ranges, the area is the perfect place for an outdoor adventure of mountain biking, hiking or skiing. The area’s abundance of lakes and hot springs also make for a relaxing getaway. 

Aerial view of Downtown Vancouver BC at sunset with snow capped mountains in the distance

Metro Vancouver

Experience the urban city buzz of downtown Vancouver and its neighbouring cities where you can taste some of BC’s best craft beers, watch a show, your favourite band or sports team. 

Take part in your choice of many outdoor activities, from world-class skiing in the winter where some of the 2010 Winter Olympics were held, to kite boarding, stand-up paddleboarding and other exhilarating water sports in the summer.  

Sunset by the waters at Helliwell Provincial Park on Hornby Island British Columbia

Northern Gulf Islands

Get away from it all and visit the sparsely populated and wonderfully quiet Northern Gulf Islands. Relax on remote beaches or sail or scuba dive in crystal-clear waters. 

Each island has its own culture and charms, and all have a relaxed pace, a mild climate, and spectacular coastal views. If you want a peaceful getaway, or an action-packed ocean adventure, there’s a Northern Gulf Island just for you.

An aerial landscape view of Salt Spring Island by the Strait of Georgia as a ferry approaches the island in BC

Southern Gulf Islands

Escape, unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of the Southern Gulf Islands. Each island has its own culture and ambience, and all have a relaxed vibe and year-round good weather, spectacular natural beauty, abundant arts and crafts, and plenty of water sports. 

If you want a romantic getaway, a family reunion, a trip with friends, or an action-packed adventure, you can find everything you need on the Southern Gulf Islands.

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