As of July 5, 2021, Northern Health Connections (NHC) is returning to standard passenger eligibility for the medical bus travel service. Passengers eligible to use the bus service include:
- Those traveling for non-urgent medical procedures, including for appointments such as chiropractors and massage therapists –appointment verification continues to be required
- Discharges (by health authority hospital staff) – appointment verification not required
- Medically-necessary companions
- Staff & Physicians (including health care students), who are travelling for work
- Seniors (60+) – appointment verification not required
Northern Health Connections will return to standard seating but will continue with enhanced safety measures. Some changes implemented during the pandemic will be permanent, including:
- All travel must now be booked at least 24 hours in advance. Passenger manifests are required for safety and contact tracing purposes. NHC will not accept any walk-on passengers.
- Pre-booked assigned seating will be required (similar to air travel).
- People will be screened for COVID-19-like symptoms both when booking, and prior boarding; anyone with symptoms will not be allowed to travel.
- Enhanced COVID cleaning and infection control measures will be ongoing.
- Passenger partitions will remain in place (for the immediate future – to be assessed).
The return to pre-pandemic seating capacity and eligibility is subject to national and provincial transportation and pandemic orders and guidelines. The return to pre-pandemic eligibility and seating is contingent upon the BC Pandemic Restart Pan for Step 3 tentatively scheduled for July, and may change.
The BC Pandemic Restart Plan is currently in Step 2 and Northern Health will continue to follow the recommendations and guidance put forward by the Provincial Health Office to ensure the health and safety of Northern BC residents. More info on the Restart BC plan can be found at www.gov.bc.ca/restartbc.
Reservations on NH Connections can be made by visiting https://nhconnections.ca/ or calling 1-888-647-4997.