Canada Alters Upcoming COVID-19 Vax Mandate For Cross-Border Truckers
Toronto, ON — Canadian governmental leaders are changing upcoming COVID-19 vaccination and testing rules for cross-border truckers only days before a mandate is set take effect.
Beginning January 15, 2022, cross-border truckers entering Canada must show proof of vaccination.
As part of the original mandate, unvaccinated Canadian drivers returning from the U.S. are required to quarantine for 14 days as well as to complete a testing protocol, while unvaccinated U.S. drivers seeking entry will be turned away.
As Transportation Nation Network (TNN) has extensively reported, trucking stakeholders on both sides of the border have been sounding the alarm about the impact these polices will have on an already stressed supply chain as well as exacerbating surging inflation.
After a reported meeting on Wednesday which included representatives from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Public Health Agency of Canada, and Transport Canada, leaders altered the to no longer require unvaccinated Canadian drivers to quarantine or complete a testing protocol upon returning into the country.
However, the restrictions on U.S. drivers will remain in place.
“While we are glad to hear the government has listened and will not be requiring Canadian drivers to quarantine effective Saturday, we are still seeking further details,” said Mike Millian, president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, which has been lobbying to delay implementation of the mandate. “For true relief to take effect, and allow the industry to continue to supply both our nations with our essential needs, we need both countries — at a minimum — to extend the time before this regulation will take effect, to allow more drivers to get fully vaccinated or provide testing options for those who are unvaccinated.”
A new Reuters report indicated Canadian governmental officials expect to lose 5% of its truck driving workforce as a result of its COVID-19 cross-border policies.
Rob Penner, CEO of Winnipeg, MB-based mega carrier Bison Transport, tells TNN imposing the mandate on the trucking community is a “slap in the face.”
“If we lose even 5% of those drivers due to this policy there will be major supply chain disruptions and this will continue to drive up inflation on both sides of the border as we continue to put self inflicted bottlenecks in the supply chain,” he warned.
The U.S. is expected to begin enforcement of its own cross-border vaccination policy on January 22, 2022.
Trucking stakeholders along with a group of Republican senators continues to urge the Biden Administration to reverse course on the mandate, but there is no indication at this time the White House intends to do so.
TransportationNation.com will continue to follow new developments closely.