The Government of Canada today announced that Canadians returning from travel abroad will be required to follow mandatory self-isolation protocols as of midnight tonight, but the Canadian Trucking Alliance is reminding the trucking industry truck drivers remain exempt from these requirements – unless an individual becomes symptomatic – since trucking has been named an essential service in our battle to contain the COVID-19 virus.
The announcement also gives the federal government the power to order travellers to stay home and tools to enforce these regulations through the Quarantine Act, including the use of substantial monetary fines and other measures to ensure compliance.
Last week, the federal government in tandem with the Public Health Agency of Canada posted the following on their website regarding the transportation sector, truck drivers and exemptions, which still apply:
Consequently, an exemption to the request to self-isolate for 14 days should be provided to workers who are essential to the movement of goods and people. For example, this exemption would apply to:
- Healthy workers in the trade and transportation sector who are important for the movement of goods and people across the border, such as truck drivers and crew on any plane, train or marine vessel crossing the border;
- Healthy people who have to cross the border to go to work, including health care providers and critical infrastructure workers;
Workers in these sectors should:
- practice social distancing (maintain a distance of 2 metres from others)
- closely self-monitor
- self-isolate should they exhibit any symptoms
As indicated in CTA communications released last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection have indicated that Canadian drivers should not see any additional issues at the border – beyond additional screening/questioning – unless a truck driver is exhibiting clear symptoms or has returned from a “hot spot” country within the last 14 days, as indicated in President Trump’s recent Executive Order. If a driver tries to cross the border within a 14-day period of returning from one of these locations, they will be denied entry into the U.S.
CTA can assure the public and supply chain that our members’ drivers are well educated and trained on proper hygiene and social distancing protocols and other best practices to keep themselves and the employees of their customers safe. CTA has issued the following COVID-19 Tip Sheet to the industry to share with the business community. Click here.