HORSESHOE BAY (NEWS 1130) – Vehicles were already lining up at the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal before the gates even opened early Friday morning, with many eager to get out of town for the weekend.
Plenty of people are hitting the road — or water — with this weekend marking the first in a long time that recreational travel is allowed within B.C.
This comes after bookings soared this weekend, after the province entered the second step of its restart plan on Tuesday.
We are thrilled to be welcoming recreational travellers back on board today to align with the end of the Province's travel restrictions within BC. Customers will no longer be asked if their travel is essential. https://t.co/YjIemlmUqt (1/2) pic.twitter.com/PriTqC9zNJ
— BC Ferries | Reconnecting BC (@BCFerries) June 15, 2021
A number of people were trying to get a jumpstart on their getaways, with the BC Ferries website crashing on Monday, just after Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced restrictions on non-essential travel were being lifted.
Sailings for Thursday booked up quickly, with ferries leaving in the early afternoon already hitting capacity before noon.
“As everyone knows, the travel restrictions have now been lifted, so we are seeing some increased volumes,” Deborah Marshall, executive director, BC Ferries, said Thursday.
For Friday, the first sailings were mostly full before 6 a.m. As many look to take advantage of a sunny weekend, and also spend some time away for Father’s Day on Sunday, you’re being urged to check the sailing schedule ahead of time and make a reservation if possible.
Travel during off-peak times is also recommended for those who haven’t booked a spot.
With restrictions that had limited most non-essential travel between health zones now lifted, BC ferries says sailings are being added back to the schedule to meet demand.
Masks are optional in outdoor spaces at terminals, but they are still required indoors and on board ferries in all spaces.
Marshall has also said that BC Ferries will be running a full summer schedule this year.
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-With files from John Ackermann