VANCOUVER -- With the May long weekend coming up, BC Ferries is reminding residents to only travel with them if it's necessary.

It's the second long weekend B.C. has had since declaring a state of emergency over the pandemic, and the ferry operator says its routes are operating at 50 per cent of their capacity and with reduced service. Those limits are expected to be in place until June 30. 

"Many communities served by BC Ferries have issued advisories to travellers notifying them of limited supplies, health care equipment and resources," says a statement issued by the company.

"Customers should inform themselves of local situations and remain committed to essential travel only."

Some communities, like Haida Gwaii, have said they'll turn away any non-residents who arrive by ferry. 

For those who do need to take a ferry, extra precautions are in place to ensure everyone's health and safety. All food and retail outlets – including vending machines – are closed until further notice and it's recommended passengers who can't keep a safe physical distance from others wear a face mask.

Last week, BC Ferries announced it will add two weekday sailings between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen as of May 15.