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)

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

Almost 400 new child care spaces for the Fraser Valley. (Thinkstock Image)
Child-care spaces boosted by provincial fund across the Fraser Valley

400 licensed child-care spaces coming for Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, and Maple Ridge families

Police seized drugs and a makeshift garrote. (Ridge Meadows RCMP/Special to The News)
Police seized drugs and a makeshift garrote. (Ridge Meadows RCMP/Special to The News)
Maple Ridge police arrest man with drugs, strangling weapon

Ridge Meadows RCMP street team stopped suspect for driving while prohibited

First responders were called to the 24600-block of 100th Avenue in Maple Ridge around 8:15 p.m on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 to crash. (Curtis Kreklau/Special to The News)
Rollover crash in Maple Ridge sends 17-year-old to hospital

First responders were called to the Albion neighbourhood Tuesday night

Food For The Soul Project Society raised $4,960 during the Coldest Night of the Year event on Feb. 20. (Coldest Night of the Year/Special to The News)
Maple Ridge charity raises thousands at Coldest Night of the Year walk

Food For The Soul Project Society raised $4,960 for their food program

COVID-19. (Pixabay)
Seven Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows schools exposed to COVID-19 in two weeks

Fairview elementary most recently added to list

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

BC Human Rights Tribunal. (The Canadian Press)
Human rights tribunal rejects complaint against Surrey brewery

Tribunal dismisses former worker’s claim he was bullied because of his ethnicity

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two Vancouver police officers were struck by a car when the driver learned he was being arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to pay for food. (Vancouver Police Department)
Driver being arrested for alleged food order fraud rams Vancouver police with car

Two officers are in stable condition, suffering with soft tissue injuries following the incident

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

Most Read