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Canada backs down on January 15 border deadline for Truckers’ vaccines; no new word from United States’ officials

Ambassador Bridge Photo: Historical Detroit

It appears Canada’s federal government is backing down on a vaccine mandate for Canadian Truck drivers, three days before the January 15th deadline was set to take effect.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has informed Road Warrior News in an email that unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated, Canadian truck drivers arriving at the border on January 15th will “remain exempt” from arrival and post-arrival testing and quarantine requirements.

“Unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated, Canadian truck drivers arriving at the border will remain exempt from arrival and post-arrival testing and quarantine requirements under the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and other Obligations) as crew members,” Anne Genier of the Public Health Agency of Canada said.  

Genier goes on to note that as of January 22nd, 2022, Canadian truck drivers will require vaccination certification in order to enter into the United States, “subject to new rules announced by the US Administration.” The US Department of Homeland Security has not updated its statement on this issue since November 23, 2021.

Wednesday evening, Canada Border Services Agency spokesperson Rebecca Purdy apparently told The Canadian Press that Canadian truckers will not have to quarantine if they are unvaccinated or have received only one dose, but declined to say whether the truck drivers’ exemption is temporary or indefinite, or what prompted the change.

At time of posting, RWN has not been able to locate any official Government of Canada press release or statement on the topic.

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Here is the complete information provided to Road Warrior News by the Public Health Agency of Canada at 6:37 pm on January 12:

“On November 19, 2021 the Government of Canada announced that as of January 15, 2022, certain groups of foreign national 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 several essential service providers (including truck drivers, and marine researchers).

 Please note that final determination regarding entry and quarantine is made by a government representative at the port of entry, based on the information presented to them at the time of entry into Canada. Unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated foreign  nationals must meet entry requirements and will be directed back to the United States

 Canadian truckers:

 A Canadian driver who is not fully vaccinated will not be denied entry into Canada – Canadian citizens, persons registered as Indians under the Indian Act and permanent residents may enter Canada by right.

 Unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated, Canadian truck drivers arriving at the border will remain exempt from arrival and post-arrival testing and quarantine requirements under the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and other Obligations) as crew members. 

However, as of January 22nd, 2022, Canadian truck drivers will require vaccination certification in order to enter into the United States, subject to new rules announced by the US Administration.

Any individual who is symptomatic upon arrival to Canada will be directed to a Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) border services official and will be directed to isolate for 10 days from the time symptoms first occurred.

American truckers:

 As of January 15, 2022, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated American truck drivers will be prohibited entry into Canada.

To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller and to enter Canada, U.S. cross-border drivers must:

·       have received at least 2 doses of a vaccine accepted for travel, a mix of 2 accepted vaccines

o   or at least 1 dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine

·       have received their second dose at least 14 full days before they enter Canada

o   For example: if a driver received their second dose anytime on Saturday, January 1, then Sunday, January 16 would be the first day that they would meet the 14 day condition.

·       Have submitted all required COVID-19 information into ArriveCAN.