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BC Ferries to deny non-essential travel on multiple routes as part of COVID-19 restrictions

Click to play video: 'BC Ferries to help enforce COVID-19 travel restrictions' BC Ferries to help enforce COVID-19 travel restrictions
One of the key choke points for stopping non-essential travel along the B.C. coast is the ferry network. Under new travel rules, travel to Vancouver Island is severely limited from the mainland. And strict limits govern who will and will not be allowed access.Aaron McArthur reports. – Apr 23, 2021

BC Ferries confirmed Friday that it will deny travel to customers travelling for non-essential reasons on routes crossing regional zones.

The province announced Friday that it is splitting B.C. up into three regional zones in order to enforce new travel restrictions.

Click to play video: 'New travel restrictions to hit BC Ferries travelers' New travel restrictions to hit BC Ferries travelers
New travel restrictions to hit BC Ferries travelers – Apr 20, 2021

The new order prohibits non-essential travel between Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley (Fraser Health and Coastal Health regions), Vancouver Island (Island Health region) and Northern/Interior (Interior Health and Northern Health regions).

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BC Ferries says the new order will affect the following routes:

  • Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay
  • Tsawwassen – Duke Point
  • Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands
  • Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay
  • Comox – Powell River
  • Port Hardy – Prince Rupert

Customers on those routes will be asked if their travel is essential and will be denied passage if it’s not essential.

Read more: What is essential travel in B.C. under the new COVID-19 travel restrictions?

The provincial government has provided guidelines on what qualifies as essential travel.

Customers travelling on routes operating within the same regional zone will be reminded they should be avoiding non-essential travel.

Click to play video: 'Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announces B.C. travel restrictions' Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announces B.C. travel restrictions
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announces B.C. travel restrictions – Apr 23, 2021

BC Ferries says it is looking to other jurisdictional authorities for help in enforcing the order.

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It also said it is not scheduling extra sailings for the May long weekend.

It also added a check box to the online booking website to allow customers to confirm they are travelling for essential reasons.

—With files from Richard Zussman and Amy Judd

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