From Tuesday March 17th and Wednesday April 8th, BC Ferries is cancelling a host of sailings between Victoria and Vancouver due to reduced demand caused by people self isolating and following public health directives amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
The following sailings have been cancelled:
Departing Swartz Bay:
- 8:00 am cancelled on March 21 and 28
- 12:00 pm cancelled on March 17-26, 28, 30-31 and April 2, and 8
- 2:00 pm cancelled on March 19, 26-27, 29 and April 3, and 5
- 4:00 pm cancelled on March 19-20, 22, 26 and April 2, and 8
- 6:00 pm cancelled on March 26-27, 29 and April 3, and 5
- 10:00 am cancelled on March 21 and 28
- 12:00 pm cancelled on March 19, 26-27, 29 and April 3, and 5
- 2:00 pm cancelled on March 17-26, 28, 30-31 and April 2, and 8
- 4:00 pm cancelled on March 19, 26-27, 29 and April 3, and 5
- 6:00 pm cancelled on March 20, 22, 26 and April 2, and 8
Passengers with reserved sailings will be accommodated on a later trip wherever possible. Those who decide to cancel their bookings will be issued a full refund.
“Crews have been taking, and will continue to take, extra measures to clean and disinfect all touch points. Touch point cleaning focusses on common areas and locations that are touched frequently by people throughout the day,” reads a notice from BC Ferries.
“They include hard surfaces such as tables, handrails, payment pin pads, door handles, and elevator buttons. We have also stepped up our cleaning protocols in all washroom facilities.”
Furthermore, the company has also closed the Pacific Buffet service, normally available on the Spirit of Vancouver Island, the Spirit of British Columbia and the Coastal Celebration vessels, until further notice to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 transmission.
In an update on Tuesday, BC Ferries announced that they will allow passengers to remain in their vehicles on the enclosed car deck amidst the growing COVID-19 concerns, in an effort to support social distancing.
The original purpose of keeping passengers off closed car decks was to ensure their safety in the case of an emergency.
During the temporary allowance, BC Ferries will increase patrols on the enclosed car deck.
With files from Seanna Wainman