Traffic on the 12:45 p.m. sailing from Tsawwassen-Duke Point on Thursday, April 9. (Photo submitted)

B.C. Ferries busy on long weekend, even during pandemic

Sailings from Tsawwassen to Nanaimo filling up

Closed terminals, reduced sailing schedules and a virus pandemic aren’t keeping people from taking the ferry over the long weekend.

B.C. Ferries’ Tsawwassen terminal is busy Friday, April 10, with Tsawwassen-Duke Point’s 12:45 sailing to Nanaimo filled up and the next sailing, at 5:45 p.m., already two-thirds full. The Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay’s 5 p.m. sailing to Victoria is three-quarters full.

There are no sailing waits in the other direction from terminals in Nanaimo and Victoria.

B.C. Ferries is asking passengers to avoid non-essential travel, but says it doesn’t have the authority to restrict travel.

“We’re asking customers to avoid all non-essential travel over the Easter long weekend. It’s crucial that we follow the advice of the Provincial Health Services Authority of B.C.,” noted a social media post from B.C. Ferries. “Stay at home this weekend.”

Earlier this week the ferry corporation put new COVID-19 screening measures in place following a Transport Canada directive. Customers with a fever and a cough, or a fever and breathing difficulties, will be denied boarding. Passengers permitted on board are asked to maintain physical distancing.

“Our crew are making announcements asking customers to stay in their cars, distance themselves if they must come upstairs and wash their hands,” notes B.C. Ferries’ website.

B.C. Ferries clarified Saturday that its capacity calculations are based on new temporary Transport Canada regulations mandating that ferries carry no more than 50 per cent the maximum passenger count.

READ ALSO: B.C. Ferries to bring in health checks as feds restrict marine travel due to COVID-19

READ ALSO: No more ferries will sail from Departure Bay during COVID-19 pandemic



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