Monday June 14, 2021 | COASTAL BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
BC Ferries has wasted no time jumping onto the Step 2 bandwagon during this summer 2021 reopening phase of the BC economy.
Today in a news release issued even while the Step 2 news session with Premier John Horgan, Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry was still happening, said that people “travelling on routes that cross health regions” may resume non-essential (recreational) travel at June 15.
People won’t be asked if their travel is essential, even while the Premier today urged sticking to non-essential travel.
Step 2 does allow non-essential travel within BC. Travel across Canada is slated to be part of Step 3 which comes July 1.
Eager about key milestone:
“The end of travel restrictions marks a key milestone in tackling COVID-19 and we are thrilled it means we can welcome everyone back on board,” said Mark Collins, President & CEO, BC Ferries, in a release today sent at 11:10 am.
The desire for people to know about travel restrictions (or the lifting thereof) is perceived as urgent news. The Premier’s press conference started at 10:30 am and was still continuing with media questions when BC Ferries already had their release sent to media mailboxes.
Relaxing the mask policy:
“To align with the Provincial Health Officer’s guidance and Step 2 of the provincial restart plan, as of June 15 BC Ferries is relaxing its mandatory mask policy in outdoor spaces on its terminals,” it was stated in today’s release. Face coverings in outdoors spaces is now optional, with BC Ferries emphasizing that BC Ferries vessels are federally regulated.
Physical distancing is still required on board and the “wearing of masks on ships both indoors and outdoors continues to be a requirement, when not in your vehicle”, BC Ferries stated.
Website on overload:
Today the BC Ferries website has been tough to connect with, indicating a lot of public interest in finding out more about their schedules and new guidelines.
Step 2 comes June 15: go at your own pace says BC Premier as the province begins to re-open (June 14, 2021)
Over half of COVID cases in BC caused by variants as seen in BC CDC data (June 12, 2021)