In an announcement on Tuesday morning, BC Ferries confirmed 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.
Transport Canada and the Canadian Ferry Association have collaborated to make the decision, and to provide ferry operators with flexibility to help protect passengers and their families from coronavirus transmission risks, while also ensuring additional measures are taken to enforce passenger safety.
“BC Ferries, the Province, and the Federal Government are doing everything they can to help prevent the spread of this illness,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President & CEO.
“At BC Ferries, we proactively took measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including increasing cleaning on board and at our terminals, closing the Pacific Buffet, as well as posting signage encouraging customers to practice good hand washing and 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.
Passengers will not be allowed on closed car decks once the risk of COVID-19 transmission has fully dissipated.
See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island