Mandatory Masks and Increased Foot Traffic

Beginning Monday, August 24, BC Ferries will require customers to wear non-medical masks or face coverings at terminals and while on board ferries. All walk-on and vehicle passengers will be required to wear face coverings at all times when at a BC Ferries terminal or on a BC Ferries ship, with the exception being if a customer is inside a vehicle or consuming food or drinks while maintaining physical distance. Also exempt are customers with an underlying medical condition or disability that inhibits the ability to wear a face covering, those who are unable to place or remove a face covering without assistance, and children under two years of age. This requirement also applies to BC Ferries employees, except those working behind a physical barrier or within employee only areas while maintaining appropriate physical distance.

In addition, students are heading back to school in September, and although we still don’t know exactly what that might look like, we can expect to see a lot more foot passengers on the Quinsam. This will be especially true on the 7:35 am sailing from Gabriola and the 2:25 and 3:45 pm sailings from Nanaimo.  BC Ferries isn’t currently limiting the number of people in lounges on the Quinsam, so passengers will need to take social distancing into their own hands.  The Gabriola Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) recommends that:

  • foot passengers stay outside on the car deck if the conditions are reasonable,
  • those using the lounges do their best to keep their distance from other passengers, and
  • as per BC Ferries’ new guidelines, all passengers should wear a mask if they are not in their personal vehicle.

Any questions for the FAC about this issue, or any other, can be addressed to: gabriola.fac@gmail.com. (Please do not try and contact the FAC via Facebook or Messenger, as the FAC Facebook account is used for posting only and is not regularly monitored.)

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