Health checks now in place on all BC Ferries vessels
BC Ferries vessel. (Mike Patterson, Vista Radio staff)
The federal government is bringing in new measures to thwart the spread of coronavirus on commercial passenger vessels and ferries.
They include health checks for every passenger before boarding on trips longer than 30 minutes.
This will involve answering a few simple questions to which you must answer truthfully.
- Do you have a fever and a cough?
- Do you have a fever and breathing difficulty?
- Have you been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to a medical reason related to COVID-19?
- Are you the subject of a provincial/territorial or local public health order?
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you’ll be denied boarding.
A crew member will also look for symptoms.
The new measures also include:
- Notifying passengers before boarding that they may be subject to a health check to prevent the spread;
- Having the crew (or crew member) read out the announcement, prior to or on-board the vessel. Where this is not feasible, the operator should post equivalent signage.
Also beginning today, all vessels carrying more than 12 passengers, will be prohibited from sailing for such non-essential things as tourism and recreation until June 30.
As well, an operator must:
- Immediately reduce by 50 percent the maximum number of passengers that are carried on-board (conduct half-load voyages); or
- Implement alternative practices to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 among passengers on-board their vessels.