The Minister of Transport issued an Interim Order outlining measures with respect to all passenger vessels which took effect on April 6th and will run through to June 30th. The Interim Order prohibits commercial marine vessels with a capacity of more than 12 passengers from engaging in non-essential activities, such as tourism or recreation. Schedule 1 identifies vessels that are considered essential and this includes vessels that provide passengers access to their residence or their place of employment, emergency and environmental response vessels. Vessels that are considered essential can either limit the number of passengers to 50% of capacity or implement measures to reduce the risk of transmission on board. This includes denying boarding for any passengers with COVID-19 symptoms from boarding ferries and water taxis. Guidance documents and Ship Safety Bulletin 10/2020 can be found on our COVID-19 webpage.
BC Ferries has suspended service along some major routes and cutting sailings on others as ridership has plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers are asked to follow the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada to avoid any non-essential travel. Service levels on their routes will be re-evaluated after the 60 day-period. The reductions have also led to temporary layoffs for hundreds of employees.