BC Ferries denied a “handful” of customers travel over the weekend following the implementation of the new provincial ban on non-essential travel between regions. (Black Press Media File)

BC Ferries denied a “handful” of customers travel over the weekend following the implementation of the new provincial ban on non-essential travel between regions. (Black Press Media File)

Traffic down, issues few as BC Ferries enjoys smooth weekend under new restrictions

BC Ferries denied a ‘handful’ of customers travel over the weekend with no serious pushback

A spokesperson for BC Ferries described the first weekend subject to new COVID-19 travel restrictions as smooth and without an incidents.

Deborah Marshall, BC Ferries’ executive director, public affairs, marketing and customer experience, said staff denied a “handful of customers” travel on the six routes that cross the regional zones as per the provincial order. Marshall later said the actual number ranged from four to seven.

“There was no need to call authorities,” she said. “It was more a matter of a few people not being fully aware of the order.”

The ban effective since Friday until May 25 divides the province into three major travel regions based on the five provincial health regions and prohibits non-essential travel between them.

The trio consists of Vancouver Island (Vancouver Island Health), Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley (Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health) and Northern-Interior (Northern Health and Interior Health, including Bella Coola Valley, the Central Coast and Hope).

The provincial government said the goal of the order is educational. If the restrictions need to be enforced, people not obeying may be subject to a $575 fine from police. Departments may set up periodic road checks at key travel corridors during times linked with leisure travel to remind travellers of the order.

The order sees BC Ferries ask travellers if their passage is essential and non-essential travellers will be asked not to board vessels headed to a different region.

BC Ferries will also suspend adding extra sailings during weekends, holidays and peak travel periods and notify all travellers with reservations that the travel order is in place and allow cancellations free of charge.

Marshall said traffic across the fleet continues to drop.

RELATED: B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

On the Tsawwassen-to-Swartz Bay route, passenger numbers dropped 34 per cent while vehicle numbers dropped 24 per cent over the weekend compared to last weekend. “Compared to 2019, we were down 82 per cent in passengers and 65 per cent in vehicles,” she said.

On the Horseshoe Bay-to-Departure Bay route, passenger numbers dropped 42 per cent while vehicle numbers dropped 37 per cent this weekend compared to last weekend. “Compared to 2019, we were down 77 per cent in passengers and 64 per cent in vehicles,” she said.

On the Tsawwassen-to-Duke Point route, passenger numbers dropped 17 per cent while vehicle numbers dropped seven per cent this weekend compared to last weekend. “Keep in mind, a lot of commercial traffic (essential travel) usually uses this route,” she said. “Compared to 2019, we were down 74 per cent in passengers and 60 per cent in vehicles.”

While Marshall said she lacked specific numbers, many customers have been contacting BC Ferries to cancel their bookings. “Our traffic is down significantly, which means British Columbians are heeding the order and advise to avoid non-essential travel at this time,” she said.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

bc ferryCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

The Surrey Board of Trade is calling on the provincial government to implement a temporary paid sick-leave program. (Unsplash.com photo by Kelly Sikkema)
Surrey Board of Trade calls for temporary paid sick-leave program

Reccomendations sent to provincial labour minister, news release notes

North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex. (Photo: larkgroup.com)
North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex earns B.C. facility excellence award

Award is among four presented by BC Recreation and Parks Association

Surrey RCMP officers on scene of a vehicle fire, which is believed to be an arson, in the area of Currie Drive and Grosvenor Road Wednesday afternoon (May 5, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Whalley vehicle fire ‘believed to be an arson’: Surrey RCMP

Police say ‘at this point’ it doesn’t seem to be tied to ongoing violence in the Lower Mainland

Low tide offered plenty of space for people to relax on White Rock's beach Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
City of White Rock asking outside visitors to stay away

South Surrey residents encouraged to visit, while others urged to stick close to home

Surrey Central SkyTrain Station. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Suspect accused of ‘abhorrent’ assaults at Surrey SkyTrain stations

Transit Police say assaults were on April 9, 14 and 17

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Ripy Jubbal of Abbotsford has received a 30-month jail sentence for the fraudulent use of credit cards and credit card data. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford woman sentenced for $80K in fraudulent credit card purchases

Ripy Jubbal and spouse used identities of 19 different victims, court hears

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Mike Haire, a former vice-principal at W. A. Fraser Middle School in Abbotsford, began court proceedings on Monday, May 3 in New Westminster for two child pornography offences.
Trial paused for former Abbotsford vice-principal charged with child porn

Judge reserves decision on admissibility of evidence against Mike Haire

Most Read