BEFORE CHRIST. Ferries screen passengers for COVID-19 as new regulations are announced

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BEFORE CHRIST. The ferries will begin screening passengers for COVID-19 symptoms or recent international travel before allowing passengers to board.

Anyone with flu-like symptoms or who has returned from abroad in the past two weeks will be denied boarding, said British Columbia. Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall.

“We will put up posters in the terminals that will include filtering questions, so that customers can read them in advance and when they arrive at the ticket office, the latter can make sure they understand the questions asked”, a she said.

The change comes after Transport Canada announced on Sunday new regulatory measures for commercial passenger ships and ferries to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19. The order includes guidelines for operators of essential ferry and passenger vessels that health checks should be performed where possible on each passenger for trips longer than 30 minutes.

Marshall said B.C. Ferries will be ready to implement the screening measures when the order takes effect at noon Monday.

“We are already enforcing the majority of the new regulations they have,” she said. “The missing piece was just the projection. “

The Transport Canada order also requires operators to reduce the maximum number of passengers by 50% or to implement other measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19, such as keeping passengers in their vehicles and use of improved cleaning measures.

BEFORE CHRIST. Ferries have registered an estimated 80% drop in passenger numbers due to COVID-19, and even with significantly reduced departures, ships have capacity below 50%, Marshall said. The company has also stepped up its cleaning and disinfection efforts.

BEFORE CHRIST. Ferries asked passengers to avoid non-essential travel, as directed by public health officials.

It is unclear whether the company’s health checks will include questions about the purpose of the trip and whether Islanders returning from abroad and landing in Vancouver would be allowed to board a ferry.

“We are working on all the details,” said Marshall.

The ordinance also prohibits all maritime trade vessels that can carry more than 12 passengers from engaging in non-essential activities, such as recreation and tourism, until at least June 30.

Canadian cruise ships are also prohibited from operating in Canadian Arctic waters until October 31. Foreign passenger vessels wishing to enter Arctic waters must give the Minister of Transport 60 days notice and meet certain conditions. The measures are designed to protect northern communities with limited public health capacity.

In the rest of the country, the start of the cruise season is postponed from April 2 to July 1 at the earliest.

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