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)

BC Ferries denied a ‘handful’ of customers travel over the weekend

Traffic on ferries continues to drop, says spokesperson Deborah Marshall

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.

The Peninsula News Review reached out to Sidney/North Saanich RCMP for comment and additional information and will update this story accordingly.


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

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich health and safety manager named one of Canada’s top 40 women in safety

Canadian Occupational Safety magazine celebrates women leading safety sector in 2021

Sofia Watts, Charlotte Magill and Harriet Knight were among the KELSET Elementary School students releasing salmon fry into Reay Creek May 7. (Ian Bruce/Submitted)
Saanich Peninsula elementary students help restock, clean up local creeks

Salmon fry releases took place at Reay Creek and Tetayut Creek

The City of Victoria hopes to improve its cultural spaces this year and it wants non-profits to help. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Grants up to $125,000 open to Victoria non-profit arts and cultural organizations

Victoria Cultural Infrastructure Grant applications close at the end of May

North Saanich has started the design of a crosswalk at the intersection of Mills and Littlewood roads near Garden Child Care Centre, whose owner Tracey McCullough has been calling for such a sidewalk. As such, she has been echoing a previous appeal by the building’s owner, Heather and Cory Hastings, standing respectively with seven-year-old Jack Hastings and five-year-old Felix Hastings. (Black Press Media File)
North Saanich moves ahead with crosswalk near child care centre

Crosswalk proposed for Littlewood and Mills roads parts of approved active transportation plan

Colwood city council did a last minute adjustment to this year’s budget, dropping the planned property increase to five per cent. Last year they didn’t increase taxes at all. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood agrees to 5% tax increase for 2021, deferring some expenses to next year

Last-minute changes will save the typical Colwood homeowner $56

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read