The heightened public concern about the coronavirus is putting a chill on spring break travel at BC Ferries.
Lower demand is resulting in a service reduction on a main route between Vancouver Island and the mainland on Sunday and Monday.
In addition, concern over the risk posed by COVID-19 is shutting down the Pacific Buffet on three vessels.
The corporation is cutting several sailings between Vancouver and Victoria on Sunday and Monday due to the lower traffic. Eight sailings are cancelled on Sunday’s schedule between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen. The affected sailings are the 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm departing out of both terminals. On Monday, the 12pm departing Swartz Bay and 2pm leaving Tsawwassen are cancelled. The changes do not affect the regular daily sailings scheduled on the odd-numbered hours.
BC Ferries says “following the guidance of health officials,” the Pacific Buffet on the Spirit of Vancouver Island, the Spirit of British Columbia and the Coastal Celebration are closed until further notice. The buffet closure is to “mitigate the spread of illness, including COVID-19.”
People who had reservations on cancelled sailings will be accommodated, if possible, on a later sailing or will have the reservation fee refunded.