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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Commercial and Livestock Terms and Conditions

Reservations for Commercial and Livestock require a deferred payment to be set up at the time of booking.
 
The following changes are accepted online or by calling the Customer Service Centre up to time sailing is closed for advance sales:
  • Change sailing time – you may change your booking up to 2 hours prior to the scheduled departure.
  • Update booking to add feet to vehicle length – this is always subject to availability and can be done up to 2 hours prior to your schedule departure time.
  • Change to bus or standard vehicle type – customers must cancel their booking and make a new booking for correct vehicle type.
 
Changes accepted at terminal on day of departure – on payment of correct Vehicle and Passenger fares
  • Arrived early – customers arriving in time for an earlier sailing, on the date they booked to travel, lose their reservation but may travel on the next available sailing, based on order of arrival at the terminal.
  • Arrived after reservation cut off (as specified on the booking confirmation document) – reservation lost, travel on the next available sailing, based on order of arrival at the terminal. Will incur a $25 no-show fee.
  • Arrived late – reservation lost customers who arrive after the sailing has closed for loading, but on the day they booked for travel lose their reservation but may travel on the next available sailing, based on order of arrival at the terminal. Will incur a $25 no-show fee.
  • Remove ≤5 ft. – reservation maintained
  • Remove > 5 ft. – reservation lost, travel based on order of arrival at the terminal
  • Add ≤5 ft. – reservation maintained
  • Add > 5 ft. – reservation lost, travel based on order of arrival at the terminal
  • Shows up with a non-commercial vehicle – Reservation lost, travel based on order of arrival.
 
Cancellation:
Commercial and Livestock customers may cancel their reservation up to 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure, without any fee. If you do not cancel your booking within this time, and do not show up for your reservation, a $25 no-show fee will be applied to your deferred payment.
 
Commercial (drive-up to terminal - no reservation):
Customers may travel on next available sailing based on order of arrival at terminal.  Payment for appropriate vehicle and passenger fares at check in.
 

Standard Fully Prepaid (Commercial and Livestock ) – Southern Gulf Islands Routes

The following changes are accepted online or by calling the Customer Service Centre up to time sailing is closed for advance sales):
  • Change sailing time – Changes to Commercial and Livestock bookings can be made up to 1 hour prior to the original port of departure, with no fee.
  • Add passengers – pay for additional passengers
  • Remove passengers – full refund (to original form of payment) of passenger fares paid for those passengers
  • Add feet to vehicle length (for private vehicles more than 20 ft. long only) – if space is available pay for the additional feet
  • Remove feet – full refund of feet removed to original form of payment
  • Change to a different vehicle type – Must cancel your original reservation, and re-book. Any cancellation fees are applicable.
 
Changes accepted at terminal on day of departure:
  • Arrived early – customers arriving in time for an earlier sailing, on the date they booked to travel, may travel on an earlier sailing, based on order of arrival, at the terminal at no additional cost (but will still pay cancellation/change fee for their original booking).
  • Arrived after reservation cut off (as specified on the booking confirmation document) – customers who arrive in time for their booked sailing, but have missed the reservation cut off may travel on the next available sailing, based on order of arrival at the terminal, at no extra cost (will still pay change/cancellation fee for their original booking).
  • Arrived late – customers arriving after the sailing has closed for loading, but on the day they booked for travel, may travel on the next available sailing, based on order of arrival at the terminal, at no additional cost (dependent on space availability).
  • Add passengers – pay for additional passengers – no change fee (dependent on space availability)
  • Remove passengers – full refund of removed passengers to original form of payment
  • Remove ≤5 ft. – Refund for footage, reservation maintained
  • Remove > 5 ft. – Refund for footage, reservation not maintained. Travel based on order of arrival at terminal.
  • Add ≤5 ft. – pay for additional feet at standard price – reservation maintained
  • Add > 5 ft. – pay for additional feet at standard price – travel based on order of arrival at terminal.
  • Change to a different private vehicle type – pay any difference in price and travel on next available sailing based on order of arrival at terminal. Reservation lost and cancellation fee applicable.
  • Customer shows up with different vehicle type – Reservation is not maintained, cancellation fee applicable and customer travels on order of arrival at terminal.
 
Cancellation:
Customers may cancel their reservations, outside of 7 days prior to the scheduled departure – no fee. Within 7 days prior to the departure – $25 cancellation is applicable. If you do not show up for your reservation, a $25 fee will be applied to the deferred payment.
 

Standard Fully Prepaid (Commercial Vehicle – No Livestock Permitted) – Northern Routes

The following changes are accepted online or by calling the Customer Service Centre up to time sailing is closed for advance sales:
  • Change sailing time or cancel reservation – if you cancel or change the sailing time of your commercial reservation within 5 days prior to the scheduled departure, a $200 fee will be applied to your deferred payment.
  • Add passengers – pay for additional passengers
  • Remove passengers – full refund (to original form of payment) of passenger fares paid for those passengers
  • Add feet to vehicle length – if space is available pay for the additional feet
  • Remove feet – full refund of feet removed to original form of payment
  • Change to a different vehicle type – You will need to cancel your original reservation, and re-book.
 
Changes accepted at terminal on day of departure:
  • Arrived after reservation cut off (as specified on the booking confirmation document) – customers that arrive after the reservation cut off time, but still within sailing time will be subject to be put at the end of the Waitlist.
  • Arrived late – Subject to space availability, your reservation is no longer honored. Dependent on space, you may still go on the vessel in order of arrival to the terminal.
  • Add passengers – pay for additional passengers – no change fee
  • Remove passengers – full refund of removed passengers to original form of payment
  • Remove ≤5 ft. – refund the amount you’ve paid for the footage you are removing – reservation maintained
  • Remove > 5 ft. – refund the amount of footage that is removed. Travel in order of arrival at the terminal.
  • Add ≤5 ft. – Reservation maintained, pay for any additional footage.
  • Add > 5 ft. – Reservation not maintained, pay for additional footage. Dependent on space availability, customer will be placed at the back of the Waitlist.
  • Change to a different vehicle type (private Vehicle) – Reservation not maintained, refund of any difference obtained. Travel at order of arrival to the terminal.
 
Cancellation:
Customers may cancel their booking at any time, prior to the sailing and receive a full refund less the non- refundable cancellation fee. If cancellation occurs within 5 days of travel, a $200 fee will be applied to the deferred payment. If fully prepaid, a refund of amount will be applicable less the cancellation fee.

If cancellation occurs outside of 5 days of travel, no fee is applicable and full refund will be applied.