The federal government confirmed that all cross-border truck drivers must be fully vaccinated after a statement from the Canada Border Services Agency mistakenly said that Canadian truck drivers would be exempt from the vaccine mandate.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino issued a statement on Thursday to clarify the situation.
“The information shared [on Wednesday] was provided in error,” the statement reads. “Our teams have been in touch with industry representatives to ensure they have the correct information.”
All truck drivers coming to Canada must be vaccinated. Unvaccinated Canadian truckers will have to quarantine. Full statement 👉 https://t.co/dy5FCGrab9
— Omar Alghabra (@OmarAlghabra) January 13, 2022
The vaccine mandate will take effect on Saturday, January 15. Announced last November, it states that “certain groups 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 truck drivers.
The government reiterated that Canadian truck drivers cannot be denied entry into Canada if they are not fully vaccinated but that they will need to meet requirements for pre-entry, arrival and day eight testing and quarantine requirements.
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Foreign national truck drivers who are not fully vaccinated will be directed back to the US, according to the statement.
Reacting to the announcement last year, the Canadian Trucking Alliance said that this mandate would force about 22,000 (20%) Canadian truck drivers and 16,000 (40%) US truck drivers off the roads.
This comes as supply chain issues affect parts of the food industry and other industries in Canada.
The statement emphasizes that in order to qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller to enter Canada, foreign national truck drivers must have received at least two doses of a vaccine accepted in Canada, received their second dose at least 14 days before entry, have submitted all required COVID-19 information on ArriveCan.