Ottawa’s New Travel Rules Don’t Apply To Truckers, People Are Calling Foul

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The Canadian federal government recently announced new rules for those travelling into Canada, which include, among other things, having to be tested for COVID-19 upon entering the country. However, none of them apply to truckers, the largest group of people that regularly travel into the country.

According to the Canada Border Services Agency, truckers account for 4.6mn of the 10mn entries into the country from March 21, 2020 to February 2021, close to half of the total.

Due to the fact that truck drivers transport essential goods across the Canadian border, the federal government has decided to exempt them from the quarantine, as well as any COVID-19 test requirements.

However, many of these truckers, from companies like Titan Transline, have called on the Canadian government to provide protection, like testing and prioritization for the COVID-19 vaccine, especially with how COVID-19 and its variants are spreading in the US.

Luis Franco, a trucker from Calgary, was one of the many Canadian truckers that expressed concerns about health concerns and COVID spreading.

While Canadian truckers are exempt from quarantine, they are still required to wear masks, practice social distancing, as well as maintain contact tracing and the like.

However, Franco, like other truckers, have stated that they don’t feel safe travelling to and from the US, due to a lot of Americans, particularly in the southern and western states, ignoring the pandemic and not following safety measures.

He says that a lot of truckers could be asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers.

Backing them up is a petition to the federal government calling for stricter anti-COVID-19 measures at the Canadian border, including tests for everyone going into Canada, including essential workers like truckers. The petition has already been signed by at least 100 science and health experts from across the country, with warnings that Canada is at risk of a new COVID wave.

The good news is that eight days following the launch of the petition, the Canadian government announced that it would be enforcing stricter border measures, which include requiring a negative COVID-19 test at the border, plus additional two tests; one upon arriving near the country, and another near the end of the 14-day quarantine.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair stated that the government is testing out testing COVID-19 testing for essential workers going into the country.

However, health experts have called for faster and more decisive action, due to the fact that COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease.

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