COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures on the Ferries
UPDATED JUNE 16, 2021
On June 4, 2020, the WETA Board of Directors adopted a six-point COVID-19 Passenger and Crew Safety Plan. The plan gives the WETA Executive Director authority to adjust policies as warranted. The below represents current polices on San Francisco Bay Ferry service.
See the plan adopted on June 4, 2020 below:
- COVID-19 Passenger and Crew Safety Plan
- Plan de Seguridad de Pasajeros y Tripulantes de San Francisco Bay Ferry
As conditions have changed in mid-2021, WETA has updated its protocols and policies to ensure continued priority on health while safely shifting to a return to the beloved ferry experience.
After every passenger trip, crews wipe down frequently-touched surfaces including Clipper readers, handrails, arm rests, door handles, seat trays, stairwells, tabletops, and restroom surfaces. Cleaning products used are all on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of products qualified to kill coronavirus.
Proof of Vaccination to Purchase Onboard Concessions
Per City and County of San Francisco Public Health Order C19-07, passengers must provide proof of vaccination when purchasing concessions from the bar when on board San Francisco Bay Ferry. Federal mask policies remain in place. Passengers eating or drinking on board the ferry must cover their noses and mouths in between bites and sips.
On June 15, 2021, consistent with updates to local and state social distancing guidelines, capacity limits on San Francisco Bay Ferry vessels were lifted. WETA will continue to provide information on seat availability to the public.
San Francisco Bay Ferry requires masks to be worn by passengers and crews when on board under the rules described below.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented a federal requirement to wear masks while riding public transportation (PDF link). The requirement does not apply under the following circumstances:
- When necessary to temporarily remove the mask for identity verification purposes.
- While eating, drinking, or taking oral medications for brief periods. Prolonged periods of mask removal are not permitted for eating or drinking; the mask must be worn between bites and sips.
- While communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, when the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- If unconscious (for reasons other than sleeping), incapacitated, unable to be awakened, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The requirement also exempts children under the age of 2 years old.
As of June 16, 2021, passengers are not required to wear face coverings while on outdoor areas on board the ferry, consistent with updated federal guidance.
Hand sanitizer is provided on board every vessel in multiple locations for passengers to use. Onboard restrooms remain available, clean and stocked so that passengers and crews can wash their hands with soap and water.
Ensuring a healthy workforce is critical. WETA and its contract operator Blue & Gold Fleet are supplying workers with personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, gloves, and supplies. Work areas are being disinfected frequently. Workers have been provided with information on getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Workers are instructed to stay home if they do not feel well and vessel crews are temperature checked before reporting to work. Sick pay is provided to crews who do not report due to illness.
Clipper and Hopthru allow for contactless payment on San Francisco Bay Ferry. Passengers are encouraged to use this fare payment methods.
COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan Documents
In May 2021, WETA applied to the San Francisco Department of Public Health for authorization to increase capacity on San Francisco Bay Ferry vessels under existing city-county orders. This application was approved on May 19, 2021. See the approved application and attachments below.
WETA COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan (PDF) -- Approved by San Francisco Department of Public Health on May 19, 2021