The BC Ferries vessel Coastal Inspiration. (News Bulletin file photo)

BC Ferries reminds people to avoid non-essential long weekend travel

Vessels operating at 50 per cent capacity during pandemic

BC Ferries is asking people not to include ferry travel in their long weekend plans.

The ferry corporation issued a press release Monday morning reminding customers to continue to avoid non-essential trips over the coming Victoria Day long weekend.

“Many communities served by BC Ferries have issued advisories to travellers notifying them of limited supplies, healthcare equipment and resources…” the release notes, specifying some of the minor routes. “Customers should inform themselves of local situations and remain committed to essential travel only.”

BC Ferries vessels are operating at 50 per cent of their usual passenger capacity, and the frequency of sailings has also been reduced across the coastal ferry system.

B.C. Premier John Horgan, asked last week about long weekend ferry travel, told reporters that an 85 per cent reduction in ridership year over year tells him that British Columbians aren’t taking an enormous amount of non-essential trips. He asks that people leave non-essential travel for later in the summer and stay closer to home in the meantime.

“I hope people will exercise their good judgment and not travel to another community to enjoy the long weekend…” Horgan said. “Wherever you live is an outstanding place. Stay there and enjoy it.”

The BC Ferries press release notes that for those who need to travel, “additional measures have been put in place to keep customers and crew healthy and safe.” Travellers are screened for COVID-19 symptoms before boarding, as per Transport Canada directions, and BC Ferries has the authority to restrict travel.

Customers are encouraged to wear face coverings during travel in situations in which they cannot maintain physical distancing.

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island ferry travel lower on Easter long weekend than previous weekend

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island leaders plead for stronger long weekend ferry restrictions



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