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Ottawa reiterates new COVID-19 border requirements for truckers entering Canada from United States

Friday, January 14, 2022 @ 2:42 PM | By Cristin Schmitz


As of Jan. 15, unvaccinated Canadian truck drivers entering Canada will need to meet new previously announced requirements for pre-entry, arrival and Day 8 testing, as well as quarantine requirements, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has reiterated.

In a joint statement Jan. 13, Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said that the government has not resiled — despite what the Canadian Border Services Agency mistakenly told the Canadian Press this week — from new requirements announced Nov. 19, 2021, that, as of Jan. 15, Canadian truck drivers will have to take molecular tests and quarantine if they are unvaccinated or have received only one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Unvaccinated American truckers will be turned back by Canadian border officials.

The ministers’ written statement specifies that certain categories of travellers who are currently exempt from entry requirements, will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada.

“These groups include several essential service providers, including truck drivers,” the ministers said. “Let us be clear: This has not changed. The information shared [with the Canadian Press] yesterday was provided in error. Our teams have been in touch with industry representatives to ensure they have the correct information.”

The ministers noted that a Canadian truck driver who is not fully vaccinated cannot be denied entry into Canada since Canadian citizens, persons registered as Indians under the Indian Act, and permanent residents may enter Canada by right.

“As announced in November and as we’ve communicated with the industry recently, starting Jan. 15, unvaccinated Canadian truck drivers entering Canada will need to meet requirements for pre-entry, arrival and Day 8 testing, as well as quarantine requirements,” the ministers stipulated. “The final decision regarding entry and quarantine is made by a government representative at the port of entry, based on the information presented to them at the time.”

The PHAC said any person who is symptomatic on arrival at the border will be directed to a PHAC border official, who will direct the person to isolate for 10 days from the time symptoms first occurred.

Moreover, as of Jan. 15, 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.

PHAC said that 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, or at least one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and have received their second dose at least 14 full days before they enter Canada.

For example, if a driver received their second dose on Saturday Jan. 1, 2022, then Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, would be the first day that they would meet the 14-day condition.

Foreign national truck drivers must also have submitted all required COVID-19 information into ArriveCAN.

If you have any information, story ideas or news tips for The Lawyer’s Dailyplease contact Cristin Schmitz at Cristin.schmitz@lexisnexis.ca or call 613 820-2794.