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BC Ferries adds more summer sailings as province weathers COVID-19

(Riley Phillips for NEWS 1130)
Summary

BC Ferries has announced additional sailings on its major routes

BC Ferries is running 33 additional round trips per week from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay

There will be 30 more trips between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay starting Thursday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – There will be more opportunities to catch a ferry to Vancouver Island, the mainland, and everything in between starting Thursday.

BC Ferries is running 33 additional round trips per week from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, plus 30 more trips between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay.

There will also be eight more sailings per week between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale, as well as between Tsawwassen and Duke Point.

According to a release, BC Ferries added more than 300 sailings in June to its major routes.

Related story: BC Ferries passengers now required to bring masks, face coverings onboard

President and CEO Mark Collins says ferry traffic is about 30 per cent lower than it was at this time last year.

“We are keeping capacity well ahead of demand all through the recovery,” Collins says. “We are forecasting that it will be two to three years before traffic returns to pre-COVID levels.”

Additional sailings means some schedules will need to be adjusted slightly. You can find all of the times here.

Other changes

In addition to more crossings, BC Ferries will also re-open the overhead walkway at Horseshoe Bay to foot passengers. Physical distancing measures will be in place.

Meanwhile, changes will also include assisting passengers to get back to their cars when a ferry is about 10 minutes from dock, and “carefully managing the loading of last vehicles to balance on-time performance and capacity.”

People are still being asked to maintain an appropriate physical distance from others, limit their movement on vessels and in terminals, and stay in their vehicles when possible.

Don’t forget, you’re also required to bring a face mask on-board a ferry and wear it when you cannot ensure a physical distance of two metres from others. This applies to all routes that are longer than 30 minutes and to people over the age of two.