Ferry docked at Departure Bay (Patrick Grapes, MyComoxValleyNow.com staff)
It’s business as usual for BC Ferries.
Spokesperson Deborah Marshall said at this point in time, you don’t have to worry about getting stranded on the mainland or vice-versa.
“I don’t think there’s a fear of that at this point,” she said. “We would take direction from Emergency Management British Columbia and the province if there were to be any directions like that (of docking all ferries), but we would certainly let our customers know and give people as much advance notice if there was going to be any change to our service.”
However, extra sailings for spring break have been cancelled on the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay run.
This was due to waning demand.
“Because we are seeing a reduction in travellers travelling with BC Ferries, we have reduced some of those extra sailings that were supposed to be in place for spring break,” Marshall said.
She said before you head to the ferry terminal for the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay run, you should check the BC Ferries website to check for cancellations.
Two sailings on the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen run are cancelled tomorrow and Wednesday (March 18).
On both days, they are the 12:00pm sailing departing Swartz Bay, and the 2:00pm leaving Tsawwassen.
There haven’t been any cancellations with the Duke Point-Tsawwassen run.
Meanwhile, the rules stay in place, prohibiting those who want to remain in their vehicles on the lower deck while the boat is in motion.
Marshall BC Ferries is working with Transport Canada to see if that can change.
“We are just waiting to hear back from Transport Canada to see if they are going to relax the restrictions,” she added.
Marshall added that more people are being seen sitting in their vehicles to avoid contact with other passengers due to fears over the COVID-19 virus.
As well, BC Ferries continues to step up its cleaning efforts to mitigate the impacts of the virus.
Touch point cleaning is being focused on common areas and locations that are touched frequently by people throughout the day.
They include hard surfaces such as tables, handrails, payment pin pads, door handles, and elevator buttons.
The company has also stepped up its cleaning protocols in all washroom facilities.
Marshall is also asking passengers to do their part to prevent the spread of germs: “We are asking our customers to use the hand sanitizer that it provided on board but I think a big thing the health care providers are recommending is that if you are sick or exhibiting any symptoms, do stay at home until you’re feeling better.”
As well, following the guidance of health officials, the Pacific Buffet available on the Spirit of Vancouver Island, the Spirit of British Columbia and the Coastal Celebration has been closed until further notice to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.