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Bring mask for BC Ferries travel, arrive one hour early on long weekend

Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route may reach passenger capacity.

Saturday August 1, 2020 ~ COASTAL BC

Mary Brooke, editor ~ West Shore Voice News

BC Ferries vessels on BC Day Monday and the Tuesday afterward are usually busy with people returning to the BC mainland from Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

The Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route may reach passenger capacity at popular travel times, says BC Ferries.

Departure Bay, BC Ferries
BC Ferries Departure Bay Terminal in Nanaimo.

To avoid or limit sailing waits, any customers who are travelling without a booking or as a foot passenger on the Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route (between Nanaimo and West Vancouver on the mainland) are asked by BC Ferries to consider an alternate route such as Tsawwassen-Duke Point or Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay.

Screening for COVID-19 takes extra time:

For all sailings, arrive at least one hour ahead of the scheduled sailing time. Transport Canada COVID-19 screening is in effect and takes a little longer at check-in.

Foot passengers should also arrive at least an hour in advance as sailings may reach passenger capacity.

Alistair MacGregor, MP, Cowichan-Malahat-Langford
Alistair MacGregor, MP (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) is available by phone and email during COVID-19.

Face masks required, keep physical distance:

face masks, non-medical
Two popular types of non-medical masks, available commercially.

Bring and wear a face mask or face covering (either store-bought or homemade) to wear at terminals, on board and/or if you choose to leave your vehicle.

Remain in your vehicle if you’re driving on board, where possible. Normally passengers are not allowed to remain in vehicles, but during the COVID-19 pandemic that ruling has been changed so there’s less chance of transmitting the virus between people.

‘Grab and go’ limited hot food and items on select vehicles and routes; take them back to your vehicle or to an outside deck (limited seating available in the cafeteria).

Maintain physical distance of at least 2 metres from passengers and crew. This amount of distance is proving to reduce the possibility of transmission of the COVID-19 virus between people, according to public health. The virus is transmitted in droplets by way of human breath (more so if the breath is more forceful, as in loud conversation or singing) and by being picked up from contaminated surfaces.

Keeping everyone safe:

See resources on the www.bcferries.com site that explain the new measures and procedures in place at terminals and on board ferries to keep crew and customers safe.

BC Ferries has also mentioned in their recent news release that verbal abuse against their crew will not be tolerated. Everyone is frustrated in various ways during COVID-19 but that frustration cannot be taken out on BC Ferries personnel. Service can be refused in such cases, said a BC Ferries rep ahead of this weekend.

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