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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Policies and regulations

Conditions of carriage
View Conditions of Carriage on our Terms and Conditions page.
Dangerous goods
Learn important information about carrying dangerous goods onboard BC Ferries.
Drugs or alcohol zero tolerance
BC Ferries has a zero-tolerance policy for passengers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the unacceptable conduct that can be associated with impairment. The consumption of drugs and personal alcohol on BC Ferries’ ships and at its terminals is prohibited.  

Intoxicated persons and persons consuming personal alcohol will not be sold a ticket. Persons consuming personal liquor or drugs on board or at our terminals will be cautioned and advised to stop. If the situation persists and their behaviour is blatant and disruptive, the police will be notified. Intoxicated person(s) on a ferry may be arrested and detained if their conduct is disruptive and/or confrontational, or if they pose a potential risk to the safety or security of passengers or crew.

Rules & Requirements regarding the Carrier’s right to refuse passage: 
 
  • 2.1 The Carrier reserves the right to refuse passage to any person who does not comply with the Conditions of Carriage or these Rules & Requirements, and without restricting the generality of the foregoing, further reserves the right to refuse passage to: .
    • Any person who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or whose conduct is deemed to be unsafe, unlawful, disruptive or objectionable
Health, safety and environment protection
Safety of life, prevention of injury to passengers and employees, and protection of the environment will always be given the highest priority in the operation of the BC Ferries' vessels and terminals.
 
Lost and found
BC Ferries makes every effort to reunite you with any items you may have lost while travelling.

We keep wallets and purses in a secure location for 30 days. After this time, we donate any unclaimed money to charity, we return unclaimed credit cards to the card issuer, and we destroy any personal information.

We keep other items of value, such as clothing, books, glasses, umbrellas, cameras and cell phones for 15 days. After this time, we donate or dispose of unclaimed items.
 

Contact a terminal

Call a terminal directly to check their lost and found. To find a terminal phone number:
  • View the list of terminals
  • Select the terminal you want to call then select "Find terminal".
  • Scroll down to "Lost and found" and expand to open contact information.
Important:
  • Contact both terminals you travelled through as items lost on board will be sent to the ferry's home terminal.
  • Terminals without a lost and found phone number will direct you to the main Customer Service Centre.
Marine security regulations
MARSEC security levels

MARSEC stands for Marine Security. MARSEC levels are designed to easily communicate pre-planned responses to increased threat levels.
 
  • MARSEC Level 1: Appropriate security measures under normal operating conditions
  • MARSEC Level 2: Increased security measures maintained for a heightened security threat or incident for a limited period of time
  • MARSEC Level 3: Additional security measures when a security threat or security incident is probable or imminent
Nationally, threat levels are assigned by Transport Canada Marine Security (TCMS).

How you can help with security

Everyone can assist with safety and security by immediately reporting any hazard, threat or suspicious events to the nearest BC Ferries employee, including:
 
  • Unusual recording or monitoring activities, including the use of cameras, note taking, drawing diagrams, annotating on maps, or using binoculars or other vision enhancing devices
  • Unusual or heightened interest in restricted or prohibited areas
  • Unusual activities around ferries, terminals, berths or loading areas
  • Suspicious unoccupied packages or baggage

BC Ferries Corporate Security Services
Phone 250-978-1232
Email bcf.security@bcferries.com

RCMP National Security Information Network
See it. Hear it. Report it.
Phone 1-800-420-5805
No passengers on enclosed vehicle decks
This Transport Canada regulation restricts passenger access to closed vehicle decks. In accordance with the regulation, every passenger shall keep off a closed vehicle deck on a ferry that is underway unless the passenger:
 
  • Has received the express consent of the ferry’s master to enter the deck, if there are no packaged dangerous goods on the deck
  • Is accompanied by a crew member, if there are packaged goods on the deck
The requirement to keep off a closed vehicle deck while underway does not apply when passengers are directed to return to their vehicles before the ferry docks. On BC Ferries vessels, the closed vehicle deck is the enclosed lower deck with limited or no openings to the outside environment.
Smoke-free environment
To support the health and wellness of our customers and employees, all BC Ferries vessels and terminals are smoke-free environments. The smoke-free environment applies to all BC Ferries customers and employees.

The policy applies to smoking of tobacco, vapour products, e-cigarettes, and medical and non-medical marijuana. No smoking of any kind is permitted on board all ferries and at all terminals.
Rules & Requirements
The contents of this downloadable PDF regarding the rules and requirements relating to the operation of BC Ferries include the following:
 
  1. Definitions
  2. Carrier’s right to refuse passage
  3. Carrier’s right to inspect
  4. Requirement to comply with instructions and signage
  5. Requirement to pay fares
  6. Operational safety
  7. Dangerous goods
  8. Abandoned, disabled and unattended vehicles
  9. Vehicles subject to special permits
  10. Non-motorized transportation
  11. Parking
  12. Luggage
  13. Transportation of firearms
For other corporate policies, including Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, Corporate Communications and more, see BC Ferries Resources.
 

Contact us

If you have any questions about any of our policies, call 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779).