The Province of British Columbia is introducing new measures for those entering British Columbia from international destinations. This requirement is in place beginning Friday, April 10, 2020 regardless of the point of entry into Canada.
According to the BC Trucking Association:
All drivers who have been outside Canada in the 14 days prior to entering British Columbia, regardless of their point of entry to Canada, must complete, file, and have approved a self-isolation plan before entering British Columbia, each time they enter the province. This includes land crossings at borders, and also drivers who entered Canada elsewhere in the 14 days prior to entering British Columbia.
Commercial drivers entering British Columbia in the course of their employment do not need to self-isolate, however, unless they are symptomatic.
However, they still must complete, file and have an approved plan before entering.
Details from BCTA:
Essential service workers including drivers, who must travel across the border for work must create and file a self-isolation plan and self-monitor. But they are only expected to implement their plan if they develop symptoms. This is a new legal requirement, supported by the provincial health officer’s travel orders and reinforce the federal emergency order under the Quarantine Act requiring people entering Canada to self-isolate for 14 days.
Effective immediately, international travellers (including from the United States) coming to the province are required to provide a self-isolation plan before or upon arrival to B.C., regardless of their point of entry to Canada.
This document, which can be submitted online or completed in person on arrival, must show that returning travellers have supports in place to safely self-isolate for 14 days.
The document can be completed and filed online here:
A downloadable pdf is available here: Isolation Plan Template_public
BCTA strongly recommends all carriers, even if completing and filing online, provide employees travelling into the U.S. blank copies of the self isolation plan so that if the driver has challenges at a border crossing, they can complete the hard copy on-site at the border.
As a reminder, if not symptomatic a commercial driver entering British Columbia in the course of his/her employment after returning to Canada within the previous 14 days will not be required to self-isolate. But must do so if they are symptomatic in keeping with their plan or the requirements set out below.
Provincial officials will be on hand at the Vancouver International Airport and major land border crossings to make sure self-isolation plans are complete and to assist those who need it.
Upon border arrival, self-isolation plans will be reviewed by officials (or online confirmation that the plan is approved will be reviewed), and travellers will be supported as follows:
- If a self-isolation plan is submitted and approved, travellers will receive an electronic confirmation. This confirmation can be shown on arrival at border crossing, or to an official who requests it elsewhere in the province. Travellers with approved plans will proceed to their home residence (or another identified accommodation) to self-isolate if required or, in the case of non-symptomatic commercial driers, proceed along their route.
(Drivers in the course of their employment are exempt from implementing their plan, unless symptomatic)
- If a commercial driver arrives at a major land border crossing and is symptomatic, and needs additional supports to execute a self-isolation plan, they will be sent directly home to start self-isolating and will be followed up with by officials for additional support.
- If a commercial driver arrives at a major land border crossing and is symptomatic and does not have a self-isolation plan, or is unable to safely carry one out as determined by officials, they may be transported or sent to an accommodation provided by government where they can safely complete their 14-day self-isolation.
Emergency Management BC, through a network of community supports and volunteer organizations, will help travellers with necessary food deliveries, prescription drugs and other supplies so people can safely self-isolate for 14 days.
The Province, through Service BC, will follow up with travellers in self-isolation with telephone calls and text messages to make sure people have the support they need to complete their mandatory self-isolation. If required, the Province will work with travellers to modify self-isolation plans to ensure public safety.
The federal government will continue to use its authority under the Quarantine Act to ensure compliance with the emergency order requiring individuals entering Canada to self-isolate for 14 days, enforceable by the RCMP. Maximum penalties for breaking the federal emergency order include fines of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months, or up to $1 million and/or imprisonment up to three years for a person who causes a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm.
1) ALL drivers who have been outside Canada in the previous 14 days, regardless of point of entry into Canada, MUST complete and file a self-isolation plan before entering British Columbia.
2) Commercial drivers in the course of their employment are EXEMPT from implementing this plan unless they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
3) If symptomatic, drivers will be expected to follow their approved self-isolation plan or will be subject to the isolation protocols set out above.
The BC Trucking Association is managing this issue and looking to further clarify the policy and will provide details as they become available. For additional information, contact the BCTA.