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

Tourists are being asked to postpone their non-essential trips to Tofino as COVID-19 cases rise across Vancouver Island, but at least one accommodation provider is offering conflicting messaging. (Westerly file photo)
Victoria woman says Tofino Airbnb host encouraged travel despite provincial restrictions

“The only way I would get a refund is if she would be able to rebook the suite for that weekend.”

A sign outside Ucluelet’s Blue Room on Monday morning advises patrons that the restaurant has gone back to take-out only. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Some Ucluelet restaurants heading back to take-out only as COVID-19 concerns rise

Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel urges residents to be respectul of business owners’ decisions.

A sign at the entrance to Ty-Histanis asks visitors to stay out of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation announces lockdown after member tests positive for COVID-19

Essential travel only and restricted to Tofino and Ucluelet.

Tofino Sea Kayaking staff Sable Trafton holds a gift card they are contributing ‘12 Days of Jingle’ draw. One lucky local will has the chance to win $500 worth of gift cards to local merchants. (TLCC photo)
Tofino’s 12 Days of Jingle kicks off holiday season

“We wanted to do it early so people could make purchases and send them wherever they need to go.”

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Most Read