Northern Health Connections resumes pre-pandemic bus service

NH Connections is also resuming standard seating but require pre-booking. (File photo)

NH Connections is also resuming standard seating but require pre-booking. (File photo)

Northern Health (NH) Connections is resuming its pre-pandemic passenger service and eligibility as COVID restrictions begin to loosen and more people get vaccinated.

Starting July 5, the NH bus service will return to standard passenger eligibility. While appointment verification will continue to be required for non-urgent medical procedures including chiropractors and massage therapists, no appointment would be required for discharges by health authority hospital staff; medically-necessary companions; staff and physicians (including health care students) or seniors 60 and above.

Last year in June, the medical bus service lifted its restrictions on essential medical appointments put in place earlier that year due to the pandemic and allowed non-emergency medical procedures such as chiropractors and massage therapists; discharges by health authority hospital staff; medically-necessary companions; staff and physicians (including health care students). It however only allowed those passengers on board who had an appointment confirmation with them.

The bus service will also return to standard seating from last year’s 12-passenger limit on coach and five on minibus. However, several changes to the bus service such as pre-booking travel at least 24 hours in advance, providing passenger information for safety and contact tracing, not accepting walk-in passengers, pre-booked assigned seating, people being screened for COVID-19 symptoms, enhanced cleaning and not allowing anyone showing symptoms would all remain in place permanently.

Passenger partitions on the bus service will also remain in place for the time being.

Connections has said in their press release that they will continue monitoring and adhering to the BC Restart Plan and make changes to their service in accordance with it.

Reservations for NH Connections can be made by visiting https://nhconnections.ca/ or calling 1-888-647-4997.