Northern Health (NH) Connections will return to standard passenger eligibility for the medical bus travel service on June 1 with the exception of persons travelling without a medical appointment.
In a press release this morning, the health authority announced the bus service will accept: patients with verified appointments for non-urgent medical procedures, such as chiropractors and massage therapists; discharges by health authority hospital staff; medically-necessary companions; staff and physicians (including health care students).
Previously, on March 20, NH restricted the service to patients with essential medical appointments including, but not limited to: “cancer treatment, hemodialysis, and appointments with specialist physicians, primary care physicians, appointments for physiotherapy, dentists, pharmacy, and trips to access a higher level of care such as surgery at the hospital.”
In addition to that, the service required passengers to book at least 48 hours in advance.
As of June 1, there will still be some restrictions, however.
The service will not accept passengers travelling without a medical appointment, including seniors (60+) and will continue to run with limited seating and enhanced safety measures until further notice. A maximum of 12 passengers will be allowed on a coach and a maximum of five on a minibus.
There are also some changes that the health authority implemented in its original COVID-19 response that will now be permanent including 48 hours advance booking, no walk-on passengers with no exceptions and anyone with COVID-19-like symptoms will not be allowed to travel.
Connections does have a plan to ease restrictions further and will do so in accordance with the “B.C. Restart Plan” the release said.
Reservations can be made online at nhconnections.ca or by phone (888-647-4997).