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January 20, 2022

New trucker vaccine mandates in effect

A vaccine mandate, announced in November, came into effect for cross-border truckers this week.

Canadian truckers who are not fully vaccinated will now need proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival at the border, and will be required to quarantine after arrival. Unvaccinated American drivers will be denied entry.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) projects 10 to 15 percent of cross-border truck drivers will be affected, which includes 12,000-22,000 Canadian drivers, and 40 percent, or 16,000, U.S. drivers travelling into Canada.

In his statement this week, Alberta Minister of Transportation Rajan Sawhney shared that according to the Alberta Motor Transport Association, “52 percent of Alberta’s gross domestic product is delivered on the back of a truck.”

“The pandemic and recent flooding in British Columbia have shown us that the supply chain is both critical and fragile, and we are doing everything we can to keep our economy functioning and growing through these difficult times.”

Current challenges to the supply chain are placing immense pressure on the Canadian beef sector. Pre-existing industry barriers include the acute shortage of truck drivers and limited railway capacity to transport grain feed.

The CTA, along with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC), and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), have asked the federal government to delay these measures.

A general statement from Canada’s Ministers of Health, Transport, and Public Safety says the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic prioritizes the health and safety of Canadians. “As vaccination levels, case counts and hospitalization rates evolve, the Government of Canada will continue to consider further targeted measures at the borders—and when to lift or adjust them—to keep Canadians safe.”

CCA, along with other agriculture stakeholders, will continue to raise these challenges with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to ensure the federal government is aware of the impacts to our supply chains.

Vaccine requirements, as shared by the Government of Canada

As of January 15, 2022, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign national truck drivers, coming to Canada from the U.S. by land, will be directed back to the United States.

To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller and to enter Canada, foreign national truck drivers must:

  • have received at least two doses of a vaccine accepted for travel, a mix of two accepted vaccines
    • or at least one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine
  • have received their second dose at least 14 full days before they enter Canada
    • For example: if a driver received their second dose anytime on Saturday, January 1, then Sunday, January 16 would be the first day that they would meet the 14-day condition.
  • Have submitted all required COVID-19 information into ArriveCAN.

As of January 15th, unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated Canadian truck drivers arriving
at the border:

  • Must be in possession of a valid pre-arrival COVID-19 molecular test, which include:
    • a negative result for a COVID-19 molecular test that was performed outside Canada on a specimen collected no more than 72 hours before entering Canada; or
    • a positive result for a COVID-19 molecular test that was performed on a specimen collected at least 10 days and no more than 180 days before entering Canada.
  • Will be required to quarantine at a suitable location for 14 days; and
  • Will be required to take a test on the day they arrive in Canada and another on day 8 of their quarantine.

Truckers can head to the Canadian Trucking Alliance for more details, and read the Government of Canada’s FAQ document.

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