VANCOUVER -- BC Ferries says it's increasing service levels on a key route to ensure the continued movement of essential goods to Vancouver Island.

It's adding two weekday sailings between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen on May 15, two morning sailings seven days a week as of the next day and two new Sunday sailings starting on May 24.

It says it will continue to restrict passenger capacity to 50 per cent until June 30th to protect crews and communities from the spread of COVID-19.

It cut service on major routes early last month after traffic dropped about 80 per cent across all its routes due to the pandemic.