VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – You’d better have a reservation if you’re heading to a ferry terminal Friday.
There were already sailing waits from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen to Duke Point and Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay as early as 6:30 a.m.
Tsawwassen to the Gulf Islands is almost completely booked up for the entire day.
6:27 – Expect a busy day @BCFerries #BCFerries leading up to the long weekend. #Tsawwassen to #SwartzBay 7am and 8am sailings are sold out, 9am is 85 percent full. #Tsawwassen to #DukePoint 7:45am is sold out and 10:15am is over 90 percent full. @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/dSFBSQcN8H
— NEWS 1130 Traffic (@NEWS1130Traffic) September 4, 2020
As people keep it local to take in the last long weekend of the summer, BC Ferries continues to “encourage our customers to continue to heed Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice to be calm, be kind, and be safe.”
Non-medical masks or face coverings are required at all BC Ferries terminals and while on board vessels, unless you are in your vehicle or are eating or drinking. People are asked to keep a safe physical distance from others.
People with underlying medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from wearing a face mask are exempt from the policy. Children under two years old are also not required to wear a face mask.
“This requirement also applies to BC Ferries employees, except those working behind a physical barrier or within employee only areas while maintaining appropriate physical distance,” the BC Ferries website reads.
BC Ferries is continuing to run without its increased summer service, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Aug. 25, BC Ferries Executive Director of Public Affairs Deborah Marshall told NEWS 1130 sailing traffic volume is down about 20 per cent over last year.
However, the company was and is anticipating more traffic over the long weekend, warning customers that volume is expected to be “constant” through Labour Day.
“We weren’t able to hire the number of summer seasonals that we normally do,” Marshall said in August, adding BC Ferries has tried its best to alleviate some demand throughout the summer months. That included adding hundreds of extra sailings.
Listen live for traffic updates every 10 minutes on the ones, including ferry wait times this Friday. You can also follow us on Twitter @NEWS1130Traffic or subscribe to breaking news alerts sent directly to your inbox.