BC Ferries continues to provide ferry services to connect communities and deliver essential goods to urban centres and more isolated areas such as the Gulf Islands and smaller towns in the northern part of the province.
According to a media release from BC Ferries, in line with directions provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada and other leading health authorities, BC Ferries is advising customers to avoid non-essential travel at this time. To date, BC Ferries has not been instructed to restrict travel. BC Ferries continues to carry all types of traffic.
“None of us should be travelling if it is not essential,” stated Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ president and chief executive officer. “We want our customers that need to travel to know that we have taken steps to keep ferry travel as safe as possible. We are asking our customers to adhere to safe practices for their own safety and for the safety of BC Ferries employees.”
Enhanced health and safety measures include additional cleaning and disinfecting, allowing and recommending passengers to remain in their vehicles on most decks, closure of the overhead walkways so walk-on passengers can have the space to practice social and physical distancing from other passengers, the closing of food and retail services, suspending baggage handling and requiring customers to use an electronic form of payment (debit or credit card or Experience Card). BC Ferries has also put measures in place to separate employees from customers when they do need to interact, such as at the ticket booths.
As an essential service, BC Ferries is committed to provide and protect safe and reliable connectivity to communities, and to safeguard the sustainability of the ferry system, according to the media release. To do this, BC Ferries is closely focused on protecting the health and safety of ferry workers, without whom essential ferry service would not be possible.
“Our front-line co-workers face the COVID-19 virus every day so that critical supplies like groceries and medical supplies, and people reach coastal communities,” said Collins. “We are incredibly proud of our loyal and dedicated colleagues.”
For information about travelling with BC Ferries during the COVID-19 situation, visit bcferries.com.