Ferries from Departure Bay ferry terminal are now sailing at 70 per cent capacity, says B.C. Ferries. The COVID-19 pandemic saw 50 per cent capacity. (Nanaimo News Bulletin file)

Departure Bay ferry capacity increases to 70%, says B.C. Ferries

Fifty-per-cent limit being phased out, B.C. Ferries has no current plans to provide masks

After restrictions were implemented on ferry sailings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, B.C. Ferries says it is increasing passenger capacity due to demand.

The onset of coronavirus saw 50 per cent passenger capacity on sailings to adhere to Transport Canada regulations, along with enhanced cleaning and safe distancing requirements. Sailings from Nanaimo to West Vancouver were also halted in April, but resumed in June.

Tessa Humphries, B.C. Ferries spokesperson, said there has been a decrease in traffic and with measures already in place, a requirement for masks and B.C. entering Phase 3 of its restart plan, capacity limitations are starting to be phased out.

B.C. Ferries consulted with Transport Canada and the move will add significantly more capacity to each sailing, Humphries said.

Humphries said the Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay route has seen a significant increase in traffic and is currently running at 70 per cent capacity. Duke Point-Tsawwassen is also running at 70 per cent and B.C. Ferries is “certainly” moving back to that for the majority of its sailings and gradually introducing service as safely as possible, she said.

Passengers are asked whether they have face coverings during screening, but Humphries said B.C. Ferries doesn’t currently have plans to provide masks.

“At this time we’re monitoring the situation … the additional measures, we’re constantly reviewing them and seeing what we can do to assist with customers,” said Humphries. “At this point in time, we are doing our best to let customers know in advance the requirement for the face covering and it can also be something like a bandana that is securely tied and fastened around a customers face.”

B.C. Ferries is also allowing passengers to remain in their vehicles during sailings due to the pandemic and has installed Plexiglas barriers onboard vessels.

RELATED: B.C. Ferries increases sailings, traffic still way down

RELATED: B.C. Ferries passengers required to have masks for longer trips

RELATED: Departure Bay sailings resume June 3 after COVID-19 stoppage

RELATED: Departure Bay ferries halted due to COVID-19 pandemic



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

BCFerriesCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

Conservation officers hope the public can provide information about who shot and left a bull and cow Roosevelt elk near Spruston Road, south of Nanaimo. (Photo: Facebook)
Pair of Roosevelt elk shot and left in woods south of Nanaimo

Conservation officers hope public can help find who killed the animals near Spruston Road

Police in Nanaimo hope the public can help find Ovidiu Bezdan, wanted for mischief and assault. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo man wanted for throwing merchandise at convenience store clerk

Police in Nanaimo hope public can help find Ovidiu Bezdan, wanted for assault and mischief

Candidates in the Nanaimo riding include Kathleen Jones, B.C. Liberal Party, top left; Sheila Malcolmson, NDP; Lia Versaevel, Green Party. (Photos submitted/News Bulletin photo/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding include Chris Istace, B.C. Green Party, top left; Duck Paterson, B.C. Liberals; and Doug Routley, NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Mariah Charleson, Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council vice-president, left, was among those voicing support for Mi’kmaq lobster harvesters in Nova Scotia that are seeing their catch dumped and taken and property damaged. A solidarity rally was held at Maffeo Sutton Park on Oct. 22. (Karl Yu/Nanaimo News Bulletin)
Solidarity rally in Nanaimo sees support for Mi’kmaq lobster fishers

Indigenous people and supporters gather at Maffeo Sutton Park Thursday

Two men were stranded on Snake Island after their small boat was blown away by strong winds Wednesday. (News Bulletin file photo)
Boat blows away, stranding fishermen on Snake Island in the strait near Nanaimo

Marine search and rescue team picked up men on windy afternoon Wednesday

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read