BC Ferries has announced a 1.5% fuel rebate effective April 1st due to the recent decline fuel costs.
The company announced it will be delaying annual tariff adjustments in light of the COVID 19 situation and the impact it is having on customers.
BC Ferries is also asking passengers to stop all non-essential travel on vessels, but has not been asked to restrict travel by public health authorities.
“None of us should be travelling if it is not essential,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and CEO.
“We want our customers that need to travel to know that we have taken steps to keep ferry travel as safe as possible. We are asking our customers to adhere to safe practices for their own safety and for the safety of BC Ferries employees.”
The company has implemented enhanced safety and sanitization measures over the past two weeks in light of COVID-19.
In compliance with health directives, food services have been suspended onboard ferries and passengers are now allowed to remain in their vehicles in order to self isolate.
Over the weekend, BC Ferries confirmed that one employee who worked on the Spirit of British Columbia vessel had tested positive for coronavirus.
According to spokesperson Deborah Marshall, the employee in question did not work in a position that put them in contact with passengers.
They came into contact with seven other employees, all of whom are now on paid leave and in self isolation.
“If you don’t have [anywhere] to go then probably best to stay home,” said Marshall.
At the time of publication, there are a total of 44 confirmed cases of coronavirus on Vancouver Island and 617 in B.C.
The federal government recently announced an $82 billion assistance package for Canadians and businesses struggling financially during the global pandemic. This was followed by a $5 billion relief package announced by the B.C. provincial government.
The provincial government also announced the indefinite suspension of all in-person classes at K-12 schools in B.C., and closure of all bars and restaurants, among other measures to enforce social distancing measures.
Canada has tightened its borders and is denying entry to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada.
U.S. citizens are no longer an exception to this rule, and non-essential travel between U.S. and Canada has been temporarily banned as of March 21st. Moreover international flights have now been restricted to international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.
The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.
The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19 line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.
As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 459,793.
Over 20,800 people have died from the illness and 113,783 have made a full recovery.