Ferries from Departure Bay ferry terminal are now sailing at 70 per cent capacity, says B.C. Ferries. The COVID-19 pandemic saw 50 per cent capacity. (Nanaimo News Bulletin file)

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

After restrictions were implemented on ferry sailings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, B.C. Ferries says it is increasing passenger capacity due to demand.

The onset of coronavirus saw 50 per cent passenger capacity on sailings to adhere to interim Transport Canada regulations, along with enhanced cleaning and safe distancing requirements, with traffic seeing a significant drop, according to Tessa Humphries, B.C. Ferries spokesperson.

“As B.C. has opened up and we’ve moved into Phase 3, and after we carefully examined the business and implemented many new alternative practices, such as requiring customers to wear a face covering, we’re starting to phase out the 50 per cent capacity limitation and we’ve consulted with Transport Canada about this and advised the additional measures that we’ve implemented… so by phasing out the 50 per cent it [cap] immediately adds significantly more capacity to each sailing,” Humphries told Black Press Media.

In the case of sailings from Departure Bay and Duke Point terminals in the Nanaimo area to the Lower Mainland, Humphries said B.C. Ferries has been able to increase capacity to 70 per cent and it is “certainly moving back” to that for the majority of its sailings and gradually re-introducing service as carefully and safely as it possibly can.

Passengers are asked whether they have face coverings during screening, but Humphries said B.C. Ferries doesn’t currently have plans to provide masks.

“At this time we’re monitoring the situation … the additional measures, we’re constantly reviewing them and seeing what we can do to assist with customers,” said Humphries.

“At this point in time, we are doing our best to let customers know in advance the requirement for the face covering and it can also be something like a bandana that is securely tied and fastened around a customers face.”

Other safety measures include allowing passengers to remain in vehicles during sailings and Plexiglas barriers, said Humphries.

RELATED: B.C. Ferries increases sailings, traffic still way down

RELATED: B.C. Ferries passengers required to have masks for longer trips

RELATED: Departure Bay sailings resume June 3 after COVID-19 stoppage

RELATED: Departure Bay ferries halted due to COVID-19 pandemic



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

BCFerriesCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BREAKING: Heavy police response at Aldergrove army base after single-vehicle incident

Vehicle rolled over into ditch near 40 Avenue on 272 Street Sunday afternoon

VIDEO: Langley’s first Pride Fest considered a sign of progress

Because of COVID-19, the event had to be virtual

Another Langley school hit by graffitti

Much of the exterior of Simonds was covered with spray-painted comments

Otter Co-op expands to North Vancouver brewery and Abbotsford pub

Aldergrove-borne enterprise delves into hospitality realm with three new Angry Otter liquor stores

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Fraser Valley Bandits fall to Edmonton in CEBL final

Bandits lose 90-73 to Stingers in Sunday’s Summer Series final

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Most Read