While self-isolation in vehicles on ferries, due to coronavirus, is allowed on open decks, it isn’t on enclosed decks due to federal regulations, says B.C. Ferries president and CEO Mark Collins. (News Bulletin file)

Self-isolation on lower decks due to COVID-19 prohibited, says B.C. Ferries CEO

B.C. Premier Horgan says PM Trudeau to take issue up with Transport Canada

Despite continuing diagnoses of COVID-19 in the province, B.C. Ferries says it can’t allow people to self-isolate in vehicles on the lower decks of vessels.

Mark Collins, B.C. Ferries’ president and CEO, said customers have inquired about staying in vehicles in light of the coronavirus, and while it is allowable on open decks of vessels, it’s prohibited on enclosed vehicle decks.

“We have been in contact with Transport Canada to raise this issue,” Collins said in a press release. “Passengers situated on an open vehicle deck can remain in their vehicles however, for safety reasons, Transport Canada regulations do not permit passengers to remain in their vehicles on an enclosed vehicle deck.

“On larger vessels that have both an upper and lower vehicle deck, customers are able to remain in their vehicles on the upper vehicle deck only.”

RELATED: SD68 cancels large events, international field trips due to COVID-19

During a press conference Friday, B.C. Premier John Horgan acknowledged that B.C. Ferries had asked for “lenience” on the regulations and while that has not yet been granted, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would take up the issue with Transport Canada.

In terms of steps B.C. Ferries is taking to mitigate risk from coronavirus, Collins said staff are increasing sanitizing efforts.

“When we learned of the outbreak, we took proactive measures to mitigate the spread of illness on our ferries and at our terminals,” Collins said in the release. “Crews have been taking, and will continue to take, extra measures to clean and disinfect all touch points. Touch point cleaning focuses on common areas and locations that are touched frequently by people throughout the day.

“They include hard surfaces such as tables, handrails, payment PIN pads, door handles, and elevator buttons. We have also stepped up our cleaning protocols in all washroom facilities.”

RELATED: Hand sanitizer not on RDN Transit buses due to potential misuse

Collins said the risk of COVID-19 spreading in B.C. is still low, but B.C. Ferries will continue to monitor information from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Collins also advised passengers continue to wash hands with soap and warm water and to cough or sneeze into sleeves, as opposed to hands.

– With files from Tom Fletcher


More from the News Bulletin on Facebook and Twitter

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley food banks reopen on a limited basis

CMS handing out hampers, Basket Society doing hampers and sandwiches

Province restricts open burning in Cowichan Valley until April 15

Measure meant to assist fight against COVID-19

What you said: Shingles vaccine worthy of consideration

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash

‘The Office’ star John Krasinski offers Some Good News in trying times

‘The human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away’

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

Order of Canada Vancouver Island musician pens ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’

Qualicum Beach lawyer and saxaphonist Phil Dwyer notes health officer has become a ‘folk hero’

Canada to spend $2B more on procuring medical supplies for COVID-19 fight

Government has signed deals with three companies

World COVID-19 updates: Putin may be exposed; 30,000 prisoners released

Comprehensive news update from around the world as of Tuesday, March 31.

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

‘This is no joke’: B.C. woman in Alberta hospital asks people to stay home during COVID-19

‘I want people to start listening to what the doctors are saying. This is no joke, please stay home’

Rest stops barring washroom access to truckers a ‘huge problem’ as COVID-19 spreads

Teamsters Canada says truckers are increasingly being denied warm meals

Most Read