Post Updated Nov 21, 2021.

*U.S. Border and Canada now accepting non-essential travellers who are vaccinated. Commercial and other essential services still do not require proof of vaccination until January 2022.

COVID 19 TRUCKING

First we at Peter Suess Transportation Consultant Inc would like to thank all the drivers currently out on the road doing their best during this crisis. We know you are experiencing many hardships, from the lack of very basic services like washrooms and showers to being away from home and family. All front line workers deserve the gratitude of our nations. Thank you!

These are crazy times we live in. With the COVID-19 quickly making it’s way across the world, people from all walks of life are being affected. All industries are feeling the effects as people deal with this invasion in their lives. From social distancing initiatives, self-isolation, panic purchasing and stock piling, our countries are experiencing new hurdles to overcome.

With that in mind we have created this post to place any new updates as pertaining to the trucking and commercial transportation industry.

As of November 21, 2021 here is what we know:

*New* U.S. FAST centers reopen, Canada’s remain closed. 

Free and Secure Trade centers will reopen in the United States come November 29th. Canada’s remain closed with no update on a future opening date. As per the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, conditionally approved applicants can now book interview appointments which will commence with the November 29 opening date.  All applicants must meet the new entry requirements for entering the U.S.– able to provide proof of vaccination.

Existing members are encouraged to renew their membership to continue their membership privileges, but can wait on the interview process while the backlog of new members are processed.

To book your interview go to https://ttp.dhs.gov/

*Updated* PEI Drivers will need COVID-19 testing when returning from outside of Atlantic Canada

Drivers residing on Prince Edward Island are required to be tested upon returning home vaccination status notwithstanding. However, if the driver makes two or more trips off island per week, then they are only required to be tested every five days.

The same goes for drivers who do not reside in PEI, but make trips in. If non-resident drivers make 2 or more trips in per week, they too are only required to get tested every five days.

Those that make occasional trips will need to be tested upon entry.

Those drivers who are vaccinated, (after testing shows negative) are not required to work in isolation. Those that are unvaccinated, will need to work in isolate while in PEI.

Due to the ramp up of COVID-19 testing at the provinces border, delays are to be expected. They are testing everyone returning to the province who is 8 years and older, no matter what their vaccination status is.

*Updated* Canada – USA Borders

Canada has reopened its borders to vaccinated, non-essential traffic, as well as essential traffic like commercial drivers who are unvaccinated. The U.S. border remains closed to non-essential traffic, vaccination status notwithstanding. The U.S. is still allowing essential traffic through. This is slated to start changing this January 2022.

It has been announced that all cross border traffic, including essential services such as commercial truck drivers, medical professionals, and students will need to present proof of vaccination.

Alberta teams up with Montana to vaccinate cross-border drivers 

Like previously announced by Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Alberta is teaming up with their closest U.S. state neighbour to vaccinate drivers who are crossing the border. Drivers looking to participate in this vaccination program can receive theirs at a rest stop in Conrad, Montana.

The program will start May 10, and will provide the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

North Dakota helping to vaccinate Manitoba and Saskatchewan cross-border drivers

Manitoba and North Dakota first announced the Essential Worker Cross-Border Vaccination Initiative which will offer COVID-19 vaccinations to Manitoba based drivers while driving in the United States. It has just been released that North Dakota will also be teaming up with Saskatchewan to offer the same service to their cross-border drivers as well.

Drivers from both provinces will be able to access vaccines at North Dakota’s Department of Transportation rest area near Drayton, N.D.. It will be available to drivers on the north bound side. There will be an online pre-registration system to streamline services. Vaccinations are available from noon to 8p.m. Wednesday, Thursdays and Fridays.

Ontario: Ministry of Transportation (MTO) announces that temporary extensions for Oversize/Overweight Annual and Enhance Annual Permit types will end June 1st.

As of June 1, 2021, all Annual permit Types will require valid dates on all permits in order to transport oversize loads.  This includes all Annual and Enhances Annual permits and all Special Vehicle Combination permits. You can apply online for the Annual and Enhanced Annual permits through the MTO’s Permitting and Registration for International Registration Plan and Oversize/Overweight online service:  https://www.prio.mto.gov.on.ca/ONEnterprise/Login.aspx 

New Brunswick: Commercial drivers leaving Atlantic Canada region will soon be required to get tested for COVID-19.

Commercial truck drivers will have to present proof of a negative test, or proof of a scheduled test at borders. Premier Blaine Higgs says that this will not be enforced right away. New Brunswick is encouraging weekly testing for truck drivers who cross out of Atlantic Canada.

We will update when this comes into effect.

Canada: Truckers exempt from mandatory COVID-19 testing before crossing land borders.

Canada has announced that starting February 15th, individuals crossing at land borders will need to have had a COVID-19 test within 72-hours prior to attempting to cross. Truckers are not included in this new safety measure to help keep supply chains and essential services moving.

United States: Truckers are exempt from the CDC mask requirements

This exemption applies to drivers who are driving solo in the cab of their truck. The new mask regulations apply once the driver leaves their vehicle and enters a transportation hub such as an airport, seaports, marinas, train stations, U.S. ports of entry.

Canadian COVID-19 Protocols by Jurisdiction:

The CCMTA is providing a spreadsheet that lists what the protocols are by jurisdiction. You can check that out on their home page www.ccmta.ca 

Canadian Border Crossing Protocol Update

 Effective immediately: All truck drivers must wear a non-medical mask when crossing the border. 

The Public Health Agency of Canada has stated that going forward all essential workers will need to wear a mask or face covering when crossing the border. If you do not have a non-medical grade mask when you arrive at the border, a Canada Border Services Agent will give one to you. 

The Government of Canada has provided instructions on how to make either a sewn or no-sew face mask. 

Truck drivers are still exempt from the 14-day quarantine when crossing the border, unless symptomatic. REMINDER: If you are on your days off, you are required to self-isolate during this time.

Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) has released additional information on how to proceed with border crossings as an essential service.

1) Those involved with essential services such as truck drivers are exempt from the 14-day quarantine. However, if you are going on days off and not performing duties, drivers must follow self-isolation protocol. This means drivers on their time off must follow physical distancing, self-monitor for symptoms, stay in your place of residence as much as possible, and if you feel sick, follow the directions of your local public health authority.

2) To reduce document handling at Primary Inspection Lines (PIL) they are encouraging drivers to sign up for electronic notices.  Signing up for this service means you will no longer need to receive a stamped copy of the lead sheet at the PIL. Sign up here: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/eservices/menu-eng.html#tab5

3) Important: only truck drivers and their co-drivers (if required) are considered essential services and allowed to cross the border at this time. Any additional passengers (including family and friends) who are not essential services will not be allowed to cross. The only exceptions are Canadian residents or permanent residents and those individuals must begin their mandatory 14-day self-isolation once in Canada.

To see the announcement in full click here.

Canadian Border Services Agency

Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has announced that they are reducing hours at 27 locations. Read the full listing of locations and the new hours here.

U.S. Expanded Hours of Service Emergency Suspension

FMCSA’s expanded emergency declaration provides regulatory relief to truck drivers providing direct assistance in transporting emergency items, including:

  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
  • Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19, such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants.
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.
  • Immediate precursor raw materials, such as paper, plastic or alcohol, that are required to be used for the manufacture of essential items.
  • Fuel.
  • Equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine.
  • Persons designated by federal, state or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes.
  • Persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services.

Please note this only applies to those drivers who are providing direct assistance and NOT normal commercial traffic.

To read the full declaration click here.

Truck stops and other areas of rest

Here are the links for some of the bigger chains out there and what they are doing to stay open during COVID-19 pandemic:

Flying J
Love’s
Husky
OnRoute
TravelCenters of America
Petro-Canada

Ontario

Ontario’s 511 service has added parking and washrooms to their interactive map. 511 also has a list of truck friendly stops.

Locations where masks are now mandatory:

Many states and provinces have mandatory mask rules for public spaces. Be sure to look up the areas of your planned travel so you can be prepared as rules have been changing based on case levels. (Though it is a good idea as a general rule any ways!)

DriverCheck

DriverCheck has issued a statement on how drug and alcohol testing will be proceeding. Drivers who have travelled to the United States will be tested as per normal, providing they are asymptomatic and have not been in contact with another person with or suspected to have COVID-19. However, DriverCheck is imposing measures to mitigate any contagion. All drivers will have to wear face masks throughout the testing period, and all DriverCheck personnel will be wearing full protective gear. Read DriverChecks full update here.

PSTC

We at PSTC are keeping our ear to the ground to keep you updated as the situation progresses. We are still open and available to help you out with your trucking business.

Keep healthy out there everyone and keep washing those hands!

If you want to sign up for updates about COVID-19 and how its affecting trucking sign up for our list here.  We will only send out info during the duration of the pandemic.

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