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.
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:
- Do you have a fever and a cough?
- Do you have a fever and breathing difficulty?
- Have you been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to a medical reason related to COVID-19?
- 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
- 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.
Book in advance to avoid lengthy waits as sailings are limited. Check-in processing takes longer due to screening protocols in place.
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.
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:
- For Haida Gwaii: haidanation.ca
- For Bella Coola: bellacoola.ca
- For Bella Bella: heiltsuknation.ca
- For Klemtu please see: klemtu.com
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 email@example.com. Vacations Call Centre business hours are:
- Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5 pm
- Weekends and statutory holidays: 9 am – 5 pm
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
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.
Air bottles, scuba tanks and enriched air
Aerosols no larger than 1 litre are allowed.
Automotive antifreeze is not considered dangerous and can be carried in any amount.
Auxiliary fuel tanks that form an integral part of the vehicle, connected by a fuel line to the engine fuel system, and firmly secured and protected from external damage, are permitted. Auxiliary fuel tanks are not to be confused with spare gas tanks (see Gasoline).
Adhesive products containing flammable liquid, such as contact cement, have special requirements. Check with the terminal staff for information on acceptable quantities.
- Oxygen for personal use is allowed in cylinders up to 5 litre water capacity. No transferring between containers is permitted.
- Scuba tanks (compressed air) for personal use is unlimited and must be declared
- All full or partially-full tanks require a dangerous goods shipping document
- All full or partially-full tanks are to be transported in closed, locked vehicles, or in open vehicles, provided the tanks are out of sight
- Enriched air must be declared and fully documented
- The number of enriched air tanks may not exceed 8 per consignment (tank size not to exceed 20 kg). Enriched air tanks follow the same conditions of transportation as Scuba tanks for safe stowage in vehicles.
- Empty tanks not containing air are not considered dangerous goods under the Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations, as long as the valves are open and not under pressure
- Foot passengers may take these tanks on board, provided the tanks are taken immediately to the main vehicle deck for stowage during the voyage. The vessel's officer will identify to foot passengers a safe stowage area on the vessel.
- These tanks are not considered baggage and our employees are not permitted to handle them or to transport them in our baggage vans
Batteries for automobiles are permitted. New vehicle batteries and up to 3 used batteries can be transported.
Boat/RV gas can be carried in spare tanks. See gasoline for the amounts of gas which can be carried in spare tanks.
Coleman's fuel, naphtha and white gas products used to fill camp stoves and lanterns are permitted in 5 litre metal containers in vehicles, but foot passengers are prohibited from carrying them.
Cleansers like bleach and other household cleansers may be carried on our ferries in a carton designed to keep them upright and secure to avoid spillage and harmful fumes.
Diesel fuel in tidy tanks of 450 litres or less is permitted.
Firearms may be transported under strict conditions.
- Firearms must be transported in compliance with Canadian Firearms Regulations. Firearms transported in vehicles must be:
- Not visible from outside the vehicle
- Locked inside vehicle when unattended
- Foot passengers are not permitted to transport firearms, except on sailings between Port Hardy (Bear Cove) and Prince Rupert, and between Prince Rupert and Graham Island (Skidegate) on Haida Gwaii. On these routes, foot passengers with firearms must:
- Declare firearms to the ship's officer once on board
- Be responsible for securing the firearms in a locker designated by the ship's officer
- Airsoft guns, pellet guns, crossbows, bow and arrows, axes and similar items of concern are subject to restrictions, including:
- Foot passengers are not permitted to transport any items of concern with them; if they have any, these must be stored in checked luggage
- Items of concern transported in vehicles must be:
- Not visible from outside the vehicle
- Locked inside the vehicle when unattended
- On-duty police officers, armoured car personnel, or peace officers authorized to carry restricted firearms in the performance of their duties are permitted by law to possess and transport firearms
Fireworks are prohibited on BC Ferries. Some pyrotechnics are permitted if they are used as safety equipment for a vehicle or are equipment being transported. These pyrotechnics will normally fall under the category of Class 1 - 1.4S.
Foot passenger carry-on commodities are allowed on the car deck, as long as the deck officer gives their authority, and a suitable storage area is available on the car deck.
- Passengers may carry outboard motors, chain saws, etc. onto the car deck only. This type of equipment is not permitted in passenger areas.
- A foot passenger may carry no more than 1 cylinder of propane, not exceeding 15 kg (30 litres). The cylinder must be carried on board by the customer and must be stowed on the car deck in a location designated by the ship’s officer.
- UN 1202
- UN 1223
- UN 1267
- UN 1268
- UN 1300
- UN 1863
- The following may carry 1 spare container of gasoline:
- RVs and vehicles
- Vehicle carrying a boat on top
- Vehicle carrying or towing jet skis or quads
- The following may carry 2 spare containers of gasoline:
- Boat towed behind a vehicle
Hay may be carried, but must be secured within a closed vehicle or the load must be completely tarped to prevent random ignition. No more than 5 bales per vehicle. (Bale is defined as a bundle of hay which can be lifted by a person into a transport vehicle.) If you have more than 5 bales of hay, straw or bhusa, you will need to complete a dangerous goods shipping document, and record it under UN 1327.
Helium can be transported aboard BC Ferries. All full or partially full tanks require a dangerous goods shipping document, and must be transported in closed, locked vehicles; or in open vehicles, provided the tanks are out of sight.
Kirpans are permitted for all of our passengers who are practicing members of the Sikh religion. All passengers travelling with Kirpans must do the following while aboard our ferries:
- Keep the Kirpan sheathed
- Keep the Kirpan worn underneath clothing
- Keep the Kirpan not visible to other passengers
Methanol in the fuel tank of a race car is permitted up to a maximum of 25 litres. A maximum of 2 additional containers are permitted, but must be completely secured and labelled.
Oxygen for personal medical use is permitted, but cylinders may not exceed 5 litre water capacity.
- Cylinders that are not in a portable unit must be secured within the transport vehicle
- The transfer of liquid oxygen from the liberator or bulk container to the stroller or portable container on board the vessel is prohibited
- Please notify terminal staff if you are carrying personal medical oxygen
- If you’re transporting commercial quantities, check with the terminal of departure for details of flash point limits for flammable products
- Latex or water-based paint is not subject to regulations
- Commercial vehicles are prohibited from carrying propane tanks
- RVs are permitted:
- 2 x 25 kg cylinders (50 litre water capacity each) connected to a regulator and secured in or on the vehicle
- 1 x 15 kg (30 litre water capacity) for a barbecue
- Passenger vehicles are permitted:
- 1 x 15 kg (30 litre water capacity)
- Important propane safety alert:
- The brass valve in a propane cylinder will be damaged if it comes in contact with anhydrous ammonia. This deterioration will lead to cracking of the valve body or its components and can ultimately result in a violent, unexpected expulsion of the valve from the cylinder, causing personal injury or death.
Wheelchairs (motorized) have no restrictions when they are in use, but there are some precautions when they are carried as cargo or freight:
- The battery must be securely in place, disconnected, with the terminals insulated to prevent short-circuiting
- The chair itself must be securely anchored so that it will not move