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Transport Canada says BC Ferries’ passengers must leave vehicles parked on enclosed decks

You may be forced to leave your vehicle if parked on a certain vehicle deck aboard a BC Ferries vessel.According to a media release issued by BC Ferries, Transport Canada is prohibiting vehicle passengers from remaining inside their vehicle if parked on an enclosed vehicle deck starting Sept.

30.However, on larger vessels with both an open upper vehicle deck and enclosed lower vehicle deck, customers will still be able to remain in their vehicles on the upper vehicle deck.The requirement applies to BC Ferries and all other ferry operators in Canada. Transport Canada had removed the requirement earlier this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.The affected routes include:Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay
Tsawwassen - Duke Point
Horseshoe Bay - Departure Bay
Powell River - Comox
Tsawwassen - Southern Gulf IslandsBC Ferries said although it has no choice but to comply with the Transport Canada regulations, it also supports the decision and will be enforcing it."Safety is our highest value and we provide a safe and healthy travel experience. Customers are legally required to comply with this federal regulation," said Mark Collins, BC Ferries' president and chief executive officer in a press release. "We expect our customers to follow the law and we continue to have zero-tolerance policy for abuse of any kind towards our employees.

Failure to follow the direction of our crew or abuse towards an employee may result in denial of service and Transport Canada enforcement measures."BC Ferries said enclosed car decks represent an "inherent risk to the travelling public" and has taken additional steps, such as additional cleaning and sanitization, to ensure passenger safety when the reinstated rule takes effect.BC Ferries said it will also reopen certain seating areas of their vessels, including the Pacific Buffet seating area onboard their Spirit Class vessels, in order to provide passengers more space for physical distancing.

Buffet food service, however, will not be reintroduced
at this time.

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