All truckers must be vaccinated crossing border, say feds after CBSA makes ‘error’

Canadian truckers re-entering country face quarantine, testing if unvaccinated as of Saturday

Canadian and foreign truckers must be fully vaccinated to enter Canada beginning Saturday | Chung Chow, BIV

Canadian and foreign truck drivers will indeed be required to be fully vaccinated coming back into Canada beginning Saturday if they wish to avoid quarantine and PCR test measures.

Three federal ministers reiterated this mandate, initially announced back in November, on Thursday afternoon after a Canadian Border Services Agency spokesperson told the Canadian Press a day earlier that such a mandate would not be going into effect this week.

“The information shared yesterday (Jan. 11) was provided in error. Our teams have been in touch with industry representatives to ensure they have the correct information,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said in a joint statement.

While unvaccinated Canadian truckers won’t be denied entry into Canada, they will face quarantine measures and show evidence of a negative PCR test by day eight of quarantine.

Foreign truck drivers who don’t show evidence of vaccination will be denied entry outright.

“Washington and Ottawa must work together and make a bilateral decision to stop enforcement of the Canada-U.S. border vaccination requirement,” the Canadian Truckers Alliance (CTA) industry group said in a statement.

The CTA said federal authorities in both countries need to work with the industry group and stakeholders within supply chains to pick a “more suitable enforcement date that is less disruptive to the supply chain.”

The CTA said about 10% of the 120,000 Canadian truckers who cross the border remain unvaccinated.

With about 12,000 truck drivers left in limbo, further port backlogs and stalled deliveries could exacerbate ongoing supply chain disruptions and hike consumer prices.

American authorities will implement similar measures on Canadian drivers entering the U.S. beginning on Jan. 22.

torton@biv.com

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