People can remain in their cars while travelling on BC Ferries during the coronavirus pandemic.
The move comes after Transport Canada granted a request from the province in response to the COVID-19 spread, Premier John Horgan said in a tweet on Monday night.
“This is an important measure … to continue safely connecting our communities for the people who need it at this time,” he said.
BC Ferries made the official announcement Tuesday morning.
“Starting today, BC Ferries will allow customers to remain in their vehicles on the enclosed car deck during the COVID-19 situation, to help support social distancing and self- isolation,” read a statement sent out by BC Ferries executive director of public affairs, Deborah Marshall. “The decision is the result of collaboration between Transport Canada and the Canadian Ferry Association to provide ferry operators with important flexibility to help protect passengers and their families from COVID-19 related risks, while also ensuring additional measures are taken to ensure passenger safety.”
“BC Ferries, the Province, and the federal government are doing everything they can to help prevent the spread of this illness,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President & CEO. “At BC Ferries, we proactively took measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including increasing cleaning on board and at our terminals, closing the Pacific Buffet, as well as posting signage encouraging customers to practice good hand washing and social distancing.”
The purpose of keeping passengers off closed car decks is to ensure their safety in the case of an emergency. During this temporary period, BC Ferries will increase patrols on the enclosed car deck to ensure safety in the rare event of an emergency. Passengers will not be allowed on closed car decks once the COVID-19 situation ends.
As this situation is rapidly evolving, BC Ferries encourages customers to monitor the website for any changes to service. For full details on service changes and the measures BC Ferries is taking in response to COVID-19, visit bcferries.com