Ferries car deck rule relaxed to support social distancing

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BC Ferries announced Tuesday it can allow customers to remain in their vehicles on enclosed car decks during the COVID-19 situation to help support social distancing and self- isolation.

The corporation said the decision is the result of collaboration between Transport Canada and the Canadian Ferry Association to provide ferry operators with the flexibility needed to help protect passengers and their families from COVID-19 related risks, while also ensuring additional measures are taken to ensure passenger safety.

“BC Ferries, the province and the federal government are doing everything they can to help prevent the spread of this illness,” BC Ferries’ president and CEO Mark Collins said in a news statement. “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.”

Transport Canada’s regulation keeping passengers off closed car decks is to ensure their safety in the case of an emergency. BC Ferries will increase patrols on the enclosed car decks during this period to ensure safety in the rare event of an emergency. Passengers will not be allowed on closed car decks once the COVID-19 situation ends.

As the situation is rapidly evolving, BC Ferries encourages customers to monitor its website for any changes to service. For full details on service changes and the measures BC Ferries is taking in response to COVID-19, visit bcferries.com.

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