Mandatory COVID vaccination requirements do not apply to BC Ferries

   October 8, 2021 ,   Cruise Industry

The Canadian company BC Ferries announced that its travelers will not be subject to federal rules mandating that all passengers be fully COVID vaccinated by October 30.

Canada's Prime Minister announced the new rules on Wednesday morning (October 6), which apply to air, train and ship passengers as well as federal contractors and public servants. While that included cruise passengers, it did not extend to the company's ~60,000 daily customers.

BC Ferries has been a private ferry company since 2003 with headquarters in Victoria (Vancouver Island, BC Canada). However, the corporation, which is regulated by Transport Canada, said it was seeking clarification on how the vaccine rules would apply to its 5100 employees.

The federal rules unveiled on Wednesday state that any employees in the public sector/federally regulated industries who remain unvaccinated after October 30 would be forced into an unpaid leave of absence. Employees have to apply for a medical/religious exemption by the end of the month. The same is true for prospective passengers aged 12+.