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BC Ferries’ numbers plunge amid non-essential travel order

Judging by the lack of ferry traffic, British Columbians seem to be getting the message about non-essential travel.

BC Ferries saw a dramatic cut in both vehicle and passenger numbers over the past week.

Vehicle traffic on the company’s major routes dropped 50 percent while the number of passengers was down 65 percent.

BC Ferries manager of public relations, Deborah Marshall, says they’re going by the honour system.

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“The provincial health officer is asking people not to travel if it’s not essential, but we are not screening every customer for the purpose of their travel,” Marshall said. 

“We are not an enforcement agency, we don’t have the power to do that, nor is it up to BC Ferries to determine what is essential travel for one person and not for somebody else, but definitely people are heeding the warnings and we can see that with our traffic numbers down significantly.”

Marshall added that while it may impact business in the short term, it’s also a matter of safety.

“People are heeding the advice of (provincial health officer) Dr. Bonnie Henry and I believe they are only travelling only if they really need to.”

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Meanwhile, Marshall said the mass majority of people on passenger desks and terminals are wearing masks as outlined by BC Ferries.

She said passengers who don’t follow the mandatory mask rule need a doctor’s note, confirming that they can’t wear them for medical reasons.

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