The face coverings, which can include masks and scarves, are to be worn only when physical separation of two metres cannot be maintained. Travellers are still allowed to remain in their vehicles, even on enclosed decks, during sailings.
“On sailings longer than 30 minutes, passengers will be asked to confirm they have a face covering and are willing to wear it when necessary,” a press release from BC Ferries reads.
“If a passenger answers ‘no’, or fails to answer, they will be unable to travel.”
The union representing BC Ferries’ workers fears its members may face more abuse from the public over the company’s new requirement for passengers to bring a face covering.
BC Ferries will not be providing customers with non-medical masks if they don’t have one.
“The current health emergency is putting customers on edge like we have never seen before,” BC Ferry & Marine Workers Union president Graeme Johnston said.
“If a customer answers no, our ticket agents are supposed to tell them they are not allowed to travel. Our members have seen really significant cases of verbal abuse.”
The change in policy is a directive of Transport Canada and applies to all passengers over the age of two.
On all routes, BC Ferries requests customers remain in their vehicle for the entire sailing if possible. As defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, a face covering should fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops, be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen).
BC Ferries is still advising travellers only board for essential travel and will be asking all passengers if they are feeling well before boarding.
If a traveller displays symptoms associated with COVID-19 they will be refused entry.View link »