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

Keeping you safe and moving
 
  • Passengers are required to wear masks at all times at terminals and on board ferries.
  • Be prepared to answer Transport Canada COVID-19 screening questions.
  • Booking in advance is strongly recommended to guarantee the sailing of your choice.
  • Enhanced safety and cleaning measures are in place to keep customers and crew safe.
  • Passengers in vehicles on enclosed lower vehicle decks must leave their vehicles during the sailing to comply with Transport Canada’s safety regulation. View details.

Learn more

Small pets including dogs, cats, ferrets, birds and hamsters are all welcome and travel for free.

Important: All animals (except guide, service or emotional support dogs) must remain in your vehicle or in a designated Pet Area. For more information about travelling with a guide, service or emotional support dog, visit our accessibility page.

Onboard Pet Areas

To help you and your pet feel comfortable and at home, Pet Areas on board are equipped with:

  • Garbage bins
  • Heating
  • Kennels (available in select Pet Areas)
  • Seating
  • Waste bags
  • Water
Important: While on board, your pet must remain in your vehicle or in the designated Pet Area.
 

Top travel tips for pet owners

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association–Society of British Columbia Veterinarians has some great tips to make your pets as comfortable as possible on board:

  • Give your pet some exercise before boarding the ferry
  • Keep your pet hydrated with enough water, especially on hot days
  • Bring your pet’s favourite blanket or toy
  • Bring your own padlock if you wish to use our onboard kennels
  • Keep dogs on a leash and under your care when outside your vehicle
  • Clean up after your pet to help us ensure a clean environment for everyone on board
  • Ensure all vaccinations are up to date and your pets are in good health
  • Bring cats, ferrets and other small animals on board in a carrying case

More pet travelling tips

Foot passengers with pets
  • For easy access to the onboard Pet Area, you and your pet will board the ferry via the vehicle deck before vehicles are loaded
  • If you arrive after vehicles have started loading, please wait until a crew member signals for you to board on the loading ramp
  • For everyone’s safety, including your pet’s, we do not permit walk-on passengers and vehicles to board at the same time
  • When it’s time to get off the ferry, you will hear an announcement for passengers to return to their vehicles. Please make your way to the disembarkation area (often on the lower vehicle deck). Once the ferry is secured, a crew member will direct you to walk off the vessel with your pet before vehicles unload.
Onboard kennels
Here are some tips if you plan on using our kennels:
 
  • Remove your pet’s leash so it doesn’t tangle
  • Routinely check on your pets to make sure they are comfortable and calm
  • Check that the kennel door is securely closed and locked with your own padlock before you leave
  • Return to the Pet Area once you hear the onboard announcement that the ferry is nearing the terminal
  • Please clean up any waste from your pet after using the kennels
Vehicle passengers with pets
During the sailing you can leave your pets in your vehicle or take them to the designated Pet Area.
Driving your vehicle on board BC Ferries

Driving on board

What you need to know about travelling on our ferries with a vehicle.

Travelling with Dangerous Goods on BC Ferries

Dangerous goods

See what goods are classified as dangerous, and learn how to declare them before you travel.

Travelling with baggage

Credit: Brian Jackson

Check-in baggage

Take advantage of our secure check-in baggage services - available for foot passengers on select routes.