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B.C. travellers staying away from Vancouver Island amid restrictions

Last Updated May 21, 2021 at 9:52 pm PDT

Jayden Jhutti, NEWS 1130 photo.
Summary

Deborah Marshall with BC Ferries says 'fewer than 20' cars have been turned away at the fare gate.

Under current restrictions, people travelling for non-essential reasons between zones can be turned away by BC Ferries

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — It seems British Columbians have been compliant with COVID-19 travel restrictions, at least when it comes to trips to Vancouver Island.

Non-essential travel rules came into effect on April 23. Since then, Deborah Marshall with BC Ferries says “fewer than 20” cars have been turned away at the fare gate.

Marshall says those people turned back home without any issue.

“Fortunately over the past three weeks since this essential order has been in effect we haven’t had to call the police,” Marshall notes ahead of the May long weekend.

“It would have to come to a point where the incident is being escalated … where staff don’t have to deal with that kind of abusive situation, and that’s when we would phone the police,” she added.

RELATED: COVID travel restrictions remain through May long as B.C. hints at easing of rules

The province is divided into three regional travel zones. British Columbians are not allowed to cross those boundaries unless it’s for essential purposes.

Marshall says the people who were denied boarding onto ferries “[did] not fully appreciate the scope of the essential order act or they weren’t aware”.

A video was posted to TikTok, showing multiple cars boarding the ferry at the Horseshoe Bay terminal. Commenters were concerned by the presence of cars toting dirt bikes, generators, and bicycles

NEWS 1130 reached out to the person who posted the video, but has not heard back.

Going into the May long weekend, Marshall is urging travellers to resist the urge to get out of town, reminding everyone about the public health orders in place.