The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has been made aware of some members dispatching unvaccinated drivers to the US amid the error in communication by the Government of Canada earlier this week; or those who may be facing other circumstances impacting their ability to return before January 15.
CTA had requested an exemption from fines/penalties and quarantine for these returning Canadian truck drivers, but federal officials have indicated that enforcement of health measures, including mandatory quarantine will be enforced. However, flexibility could be used on other enforcement policies for these drivers.
Below is the preliminary guidance provided to CTA for returning unvaccinated Canadian truck drivers as of January 15:
- Unvaccinated truck drivers arriving at the Canadian border starting January 15 will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to Canada. No Canadian driver will be denied entry into the country;
- Unvaccinated drivers will need to submit a quarantine plan using ArriveCAN. If this is not possible, they should have details of a suitable plan available, or be able to produce it verbally when requested upon entry. More information regarding quarantine plans can be found here;
- Drivers will also be required to meet all admissibility requirements, including 8-day testing requirements, and obtaining a PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival, but discretion will be used by officers regarding PCR testing;
- Although border officials maintain the ability to issues fines/penalties, the government recognizes this is a transition period and does not expect fines/penalties to be issued initially to unvaccinated drivers.
Officials also outlined the process which must occur when an unvaccinated Canadian driver enters Canada after being issued a quarantine order:
- If an unvaccinated truck driver returns to Canada with a shipment, they will be required to complete their commercial movement and then head directly to their address as indicated on their quarantine plan. No other pickups/drop-offs will be permitted once they enter the country. The repositioning of an empty trailer while on route to their quarantine location will be permissible;
- The driver must follow all public health measures and ensure that they isolate as much as possible until they reach their quarantine location;
- The period spent in their truck while completing this commercial movement, will count towards their 14-day quarantine period;
- Officials have clarified that a suitable place of quarantine does not include the cab of a truck and must be done at a verifiable address. Follow-up actions will be taken by enforcement officials to ensure that the driver is quarantining as required.
Government of Canada officials are working on an official guidance regarding these updated enforcement measures for release as soon as possible. CTA will be sharing these documents once they are available.