BC Ferries says it is adding scheduled cargo-only sailings Monday through Friday on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route until May 15.
The scheduled cargo sailings available on Monday through Friday are:
- Tsawwassen: 3 p.m.
- Swartz Bay: 5 p.m.
The company said the sailings will “ensure the continued safe transport of essential goods” on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cargo sailings limit the number of passengers on board to 84 and give priority loading to commercial vehicles transporting goods. Essential service workers are then loaded on a first-come, first-serve basis. If space is available, other traffic may be loaded at the discretion of the terminal.
There had been a few cargo sailings per week over the past several weeks on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route. Deborah Marshall, executive director of public affairs for BC Ferries, said the company decided to schedule the sailings so commercial customers can book their trips further out and have more certainty with moving goods.
There are already four cargo departures from Tsawwassen – Duke Point (Vancouver – Nanaimo). These are:
- Tsawwassen: 5:15am, 10:15am, 3:15pm, 8:15pm
- Duke Point: 7:45am, 12:45pm, 5:45pm, 10:45pm
BC Ferries said it will continue to monitor commercial traffic and the need for additional sailings.
To read more about BC Ferries’ service changes during COVID-19, visit the company website here. Customers are asked to follow the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada to avoid any non-essential travel.
For any route longer than 30 minutes, BC Ferries is screening customers for COVID-19 symptoms. The company said it will restrict travel to any customer that does not meet the screening requirements, as per the federal guidelines.
Prior to boarding a BC Ferries ship, customers need to answer the following questions:
- Do you have a fever and a cough?
- Do you have a fever and breathing difficulty?
- Have you been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to a medical reason related to COVID-19?
- Are you the subject of a provincial/territorial or local public health order?
If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, or refuse to answer, BC Ferries said it will deny boarding.
Customers not displaying symptoms and under a directive to self-isolate at home may be permitted onboard but should maintain physical distance by remaining in their vehicle.