B.C. Ferries passengers won’t be able to stay on the lower car decks during sailings as of Sept. 30. (News Bulletin file photo)

B.C. Ferries passengers won’t be allowed to stay on lower car decks much longer

Transport Canada rescinding temporary flexibility it granted in pandemic

B.C. Ferries passengers will need to find other ways to physically distance, as they won’t be able to stay in their vehicles on lower car decks as of the end of the month.

The ferry corporation has been advised that Transport Canada is rescinding its temporary relaxation of safety regulations as of Sept. 30. B.C. Ferries said it must comply, and “supports the regulation and its intent.”

Transport Canada allowed the temporary flexibility early in the pandemic and B.C. Ferries began allowing travellers to remain in their vehicles on all decks on March 17.

As of Sept. 30, passengers won’t be able to stay in their vehicles on lower car decks on the following routes: Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay, Duke Point-Tsawwassen, Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen, Comox-Powell River, and Tsawwassen-Southern Gulf Islands.

B.C. Ferries says it has approval from Transport Canada to allow travellers on the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale route to remain on lower vehicle decks because of modifications to the vessels and procedures.

“Safety is our highest value and we provide a safe and healthy travel experience. Customers are legally required to comply with this federal regulation,” said Mark Collins, B.C. Ferries’ president and CEO, in the release. “We expect our customers to follow the law and we continue to have zero tolerance policy for abuse of any kind towards our employees.”

RELATED: People now allowed to stay in cars on B.C. Ferries to avoid COVID-19 spread



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