The B.C. Ferries vessel the Coastal Inspiration. (News Bulletin file photo)

The B.C. Ferries vessel the Coastal Inspiration. (News Bulletin file photo)

BC Ferries passengers travelling for medical reasons to get priority boarding

To qualify for priority boarding, a passenger will need to provide a doctor’s letter

British Columbians needing to take a BC Ferry to get to a medical appointment will get priority boarding as part of the ongoing COVID-19 provincial state of emergency.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced the new emergency order Thursday (July 30).

“These new provisions will ensure that medical-assured loading is protected for people travelling by ferry for medical treatment,” he said.

“BC Ferries will also continue to give priority to vehicles carrying essential goods and supplies, and will need to consult the Province before changing or varying minimum ferry service levels.”

To qualify for priority boarding, a passenger will need to provide a doctor’s letter indicating they require treatment as well as a completed Travel Assistance Program form during check-in.

The doctor’s letter does not require a specific date or time, or number of occasions the person travelling requires medical-assured loading to receive medical treatment, but may specify a period of time of up to one year from the date of the letter.

ALSO READ: BC Ferries’ COVID-related financial woes compounded by lack of transit bailout funding

As Farnworth adds a new order, he has also rescinded one.

Moving forward, passengers sailing to their primary residence will not longer get priority access – a temporary regulation enacted in March as ferry sailings were significantly reduced.

“Now that ferry service levels have increased with more British Columbians travelling within the province, we expect BC Ferries to continue to monitor demand and ensure adequate capacity is in place,” Transportation Minister Clare Trevena said in a statement.

A provincial state of emergency due to the pandemic has been in place for more than four months, declared by Farnworth on March 18.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

A town was constructed on the side of a mountain top in Hedley to extract 7.1 tonnes of gold. (Mascotmine.com photo)
Hedley’s Mascot Mine gets $800,000 lift from COVID relief program

Grant will enable the historic mine to open again for tourists

Pathways Addictions Centre is in jeopardy of closing after Interior Health has pulled all its funding and will be taking over addiction services ‘in house’ as up May 31. (Facebook)
Future of Penticton addictions centre in jeopardy after Interior Health pulls funding

Pathways has been in Penticton for over 20 years and has 10 staff, serving around 1,000 people

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Ponderosa Primary Care Centre in Penticton is considered a model for care clinics going forward by the South Okanagan Division of Family Practice. (Monique Tamminga)
Mayor of Oliver calls on province to address South Okanagan doctor shortage

‘None of the people in our acquaintance that we’ve come to know here in Oliver have their own doctor’

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has implemented extended hours at four landfills, beginning March 1, 2020. (Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen photo)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen extends landfill hours

Summer hours at four facility take effect March 1, 2021.

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

The machines, called MySafe, are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

Vancouver and Victoria both have a MySafe machine to help reduce overdoses

Ice rescue on Shannon Lake. Phil McLachlan, Kelowna Capital News.
‘Ice season is over’; West Kelowna crews rescue man from icy lake

A man in his 60’s was pulled from the waters of Shannon Lake after falling through

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

BC Housing has proposed that Victory Church shelter at 352 Winnipeg Street in Penticton be extended until March 31, 2022. It was originally intended to be a shelter April 1, 2021. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Concerned residents, business owners launch petition against Penticton homeless shelter

BC Housing wants to extend the ‘temporary’ Victory Church shelter for one year

Summerhill Pyramid Winery. (Contributed)
Fear of ‘hotel in a vineyard’ prompts Kelowna council to defer culinary school decision

City council needs assurance the educational facility proposed at Summerhill Winery will be used as stated

Most Read