Departure Bay ferry terminal in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)

Departure Bay ferry terminal in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)

Six ferry routes will deny non-essential trips to support B.C.’s new travel restrictions

Travel discouraged even on routes that fall within regional zones

BC Ferries terminals will be checkpoints to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

The provincial government introduced new restrictions on non-essential travel Friday, April 23, and to support those measures, BC Ferries will deny travel to customers who don’t have a good reason for travelling between Vancouver Island and the mainland.

Customers will be asked about their reasons for travel on six ferry routes: Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay, Duke Point-Tsawwassen, Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen, Tsawwassen-southern Gulf Islands, Comox-Powell River and Port Hardy-Prince Rupert.

Even ferry travellers on other routes, that don’t cross regional zones, will be reminded that they should be avoiding non-essential travel, the ferry corporation said in the release.

“BC Ferries supports doing everything we can to discourage non-essential travel, and this order gives us the legal authority we need to deny travel for non-essential reasons,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries president and CEO, in the release.

BC Ferries will also ask customers making online reservations to specify that they are travelling for essential reasons.

As well, no extra sailings are being scheduled over the May long weekend.

“It is vitally important for people to stay close to home over these next five weeks so we can drive down the spread of COVID and look forward to a more familiar summer,” said Rob Fleming, B.C. minister of transportation and infrastructure, in the release. “The vast majority of people are putting the health and safety of others first, and the added measures we’re now taking are meant to ensure others don’t travel unless it is essential.”

For schedules and information about essential ferry travel during COVID-19, visit http://bcferries.com.

READ ALSO: B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

READ ALSO: Camping close to home still permitted under B.C. travel ban

READ ALSO: B.C. tourism groups back COVID-19 travel ban



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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