BC Ferries is reducing the number of sailings between Vancouver and Victoria and closing the Pacific Buffet in an effort to halt the spread of COVID-19.
On March 14, the ferry company announced that it would be cutting back service on the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route for March 15 and 16.
The reduction in sailings is a result of a recent downturn in the number of passengers using the ferries as more people are opting to self-quarantine, a BC Ferries spokesperson said on Saturday afternoon. The ferries will still operate on all the odd hours as usual.
On March 15, cancelled sailings departing Swartz Bay include the noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. sailings. The same times are also cancelled for sailings departing Tsawwassen.
For March 16, the noon sailing departing Swartz Bay is cancelled and the 2 p.m. departing Tsawwassen is cancelled.
BC Ferries has also temporarily closed the Pacific Buffet – typically available on the Spirit of Vancouver Island, the Spirit of British Columbia and the Coastal Celebration vessels – upon advice from health officials.
Crews at terminals & on board ferries continue to take extra measures to clean & disinfect all touch points. We are closely monitoring info & direction from @CDCofBC & @GovCanHealth.— BC Ferries (@BCFerries) March 14, 2020
▶️ #BCFerries info: https://t.co/UvujQHyeRR
▶️ @GovCanHealth: https://t.co/I48akwYUue#COVID19 pic.twitter.com/03jIuKmrl8
Customers with reservations on cancelled sailings will receive emails explaining the situation and either be accommodated on another sailing or offered a refund.
Passengers are invited to keep up to date on the current conditions of scheduled sailings by following @BCFerries on Twitter, visiting the website or calling 1-888-223-3779.