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BC Ferries stresses restrictions still in place, despite small uptick in traffic

Last Updated Mar 15, 2021 at 3:12 pm PDT

FILE - The Queen of Alberni. (Courtesy BC Ferries)

BC Ferries says passenger traffic is down about 50 per cent from pre-pandemic levels

Company says no restrictions have been lifted on sailings

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Usually around this time of year it’s nearly impossible to get on a BC Ferries sailing. But despite Spring Break and the beautiful weather, the company says it’s still operating at below capacity as it follows public health orders.

“Our traffic is still down significantly,” Deborah Marshall with BC Ferries said. “It’s down about 50 per cent in passengers and about 35 per cent in vehicles on the major routes. We do see that many people are heeding that advice — they’re staying local, they’re staying close to home, and they’re staying within their family unit.”

“Having said that, Dr. Bonnie [Henry] did say if somebody went to visit their cabin — as long as they’re staying contained with their own family unit — that that would be okay,” she pointed out.

She insists they have not lifted any of the existing restrictions in place on sailings — such as reduced sailings, lower capacity limits, and mandatory masks — which fall in line with orders from the province’s top doctor.

Related article: Two women arrested, fined at Nanaimo ferry terminal for refusing to wear masks

As for what could be behind a little extra traffic that was reportedly Monday?

“Often, at the beginning of a work week, we do see a pick up in commercial vehicle traffic. That’s typical. And it is very important that those goods and services [and] supplies are getting back and forth to Vancouver Island as well as the outer gulf islands,” Marshall said.

Remember, under federal rules you can’t stay in your car if you park on the lower car deck.