Travellers using BC Ferries will be subject to health checks starting Monday, April 6, 2020. (Black Press Media File).

BC Ferries to bring in health checks as feds restrict marine travel due to COVID-19

Measures announced Sunday came into effect Monday

Travellers using BC Ferries will see significant changes starting Monday (April 6) after the federal government announced new measures to fight COVID-19.

As part of new measures announced Sunday, Transport Canada has issued guidelines for screening all passengers boarding sailings longer than 30 minutes. The rules will apply until June 30.

“Vessel operators should, where possible and practical, observe and do a health check of all passengers before they board the vessel,” it reads. The guidelines include a questionnaire with four questions to be asked of travellers by ferry operator employees.

RELATED: No more ferries will sail from Departure Bay, Mill Bay, Brentwood Bay during COVID-19 pandemic

If a passenger is seen to have COVID-19 symptoms or their response to health check questions indicates a need to deny boarding, the vessel operator should refuse to allow that person on board for 14 days, or until a medical certificate clearing the patient is presented.

The new rules say that if it’s not possible to deny boarding, operators should take steps to ensure impacted passenger should be self-isolated, for example, by staying in their vehicles during the whole trip.

“If the passenger must travel for the purpose of receiving needed medical services, they should take precautions to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 such as staying in their car as much as possible, wearing a mask and maintaining a minimum of two metres from any other passenger,” Transport Canada said.

The coming health checks are part of a series new rules effective Monday starting at 9 a.m. local time. They state that operators of vessels carrying more than 12 passengers must immediately reduce sailings by 50 per cent of the maximum number of passengers to help with physical distancing or implement alternative practices consistent with Public Health Agency of Canada guidelines.

According to the guidelines, ferry operators “should, when feasible” notify passengers before boarding that they may be subject to a health check to prevent the spread of COVID-19, have the crew (or crew members) read out the announcement (or post signage) and conduct the health checks.

The new regulations also include a ban on Canadian cruise ships entering the Arctic.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

BCFerriesCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Playgrounds to reopen across the Okanagan on June 1

After nearly two months closure, playgrounds are set to reopen

Property tax bills now on their way to Salmon Arm homeowners

COVID-19 delayed mailing slightly, deadline extended but council hopes residents will pay by July 2

Driver damages Chase playground after alleged pellet gun shooting

RCMP report vehicle drove through Memorial Park before coming to a stop

Salmon Arm’s Alexander Street to be open to foot traffic only on Saturdays

Downtown Salmon Arm announces plan to provide more space for restaurants, other businesses

Salmon Arm RCMP seek to reunite Fender guitar with owner

Police ask for owners of items to call detachment

Kelowna couple pedalling past loss of sight

Pauline and Jim Marshall said it’s important to be patient with each other

Revelstoke resident finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Okanagan-shot film “The Color Rose” wins two cinematography awards

Locations in the Okanagan were used such as; The Casorso residence, BNA, Father Pandosy, Venture Academy and Idabel Lake Resort

Kids raise $10,000 to feed Kamloops wildlife

Bottle drive initially set out to raise $2,000 to feed the animals at the wildlife park

COLUMN: Plate hate has no place in B.C.

B.C. transplant still drives with red plates, but hopes her car will be safe from COVID hate

POLL: Drinks in the park in Vernon?

City councillor wonders if allowing drinks in public places may help local businesses

Kelowna’s Rock the Lake officially postponed until 2021

The new dates have been scheduled for August 6-8, 2021

Summerland to reopen playgrounds and recreational facilities

Some outdoor spaces will reopen on June 1, but arena and aquatic centre remain closed

Owner of Kelowna country bar permanently closes Langley cabaret

Nightclub showcased local talent, connected friends, and even hosted a wedding during its 34 years

Most Read