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New mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements will not apply to BC Ferries

Federally regulated transportation changes coming Oct. 30
Wednesday’s federal vaccine requirement announcement doesn’t include BC Ferries. (Black Press Media file photo)

BC Ferries passengers are not included in recent federal vaccine requirements for travel.

The Canadian government announced today that federally regulated transportation employees and travellers will be subjected to mandatory COVID-19 vaccine requirements starting Oct. 30.

These requirements will extend to federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation sectors and its travellers, including airports and VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains.

READ MORE: Trudeau expected to announce all federal workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19

Today’s mandatory vaccine announcement does not apply to BC Ferries passengers, the company confirmed to Black Press Media.

However, the new requirements do extend to marine operators, like BC Ferries, that operate vessels with 12 or more crew, meaning employees could be included in the mandate.

BC Ferries said it is “reviewing the recent guidance provided by our regulators and authorities as it becomes available and in the days ahead, will be discussing these with the BC Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union and other stakeholders.”

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The former provincial Crown corporation is regulated by Transport Canada, which has not made any changes to its guidelines for essential passenger vessel and ferry operators at this time.

“BC Ferries supports the provincial and federal health officers’ position that vaccination is the most effective tool to reduce the risk of COVID-19,” a representative from the company added.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Oct. 8, 2021, after receiving updated information from BC Ferries.

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