BC Ferries passengers must leave vehicles on enclosed decks beginning Sept. 30

VICTORIA — BC Ferries passengers will no longer be allowed to remain in their vehicles during sailings on major routes in order to self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ferry service says in a statement that Transport Canada has rescinded the temporary flexibility granted to ferry operators allowing passengers to remain in vehicles on enclosed vehicle decks.

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Customers must leave enclosed vehicle decks aboard the vessels beginning Sept. 30.

Transport Canada granted the flexibility in the spring as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold to allow for increased physical distancing.

BC Ferries says in a statement that it has since implemented a number of additional measures including cleaning, sanitizing and mandatory mask use.

The company will also reopen certain areas of the vessels, such as the Pacific Buffet on "spirit class" vessels for seating only, as a way to provide passengers with more space.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2020.

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