Cross Border Truck Drivers Want More Protection Against Covid-19

Many new travel measures were announced by the government of Canada which includes testing for Covid-19 upon arrival. However, it does not apply to commercial truckers that cross the border. Of the 10 million people who have entered Canada since March 21, 2020, almost 4.6 million were commercial truck drivers.

The federal government has exempted commercial truck drivers from the travel measures because they deliver essential goods across the border during the coronavirus pandemic. According to Ottawa, they have explored testing for truck drivers at the border but no concrete plans have been established. Meanwhile, truck drivers want more protection because Covid-19 is fast spreading in the United States.

Even if truck drivers are exempted from quarantine, they make sure to follow protective measures like the wearing of face masks, social distancing, and answering health-related questions at the border. However, long-haul truck driver Luis Franco from Calvary feels unsafe in spite of the protective measures. Franco often encounters people at the US rest stops who do not take any precautions.

A lot of Americans particularly those from the southern and western states refuse to believe that there is a virus. At least 80% of them walk to the truck shop or fuel up without face masks or follow social distancing. Franco as well as other truck drivers want to be tested for Covid-19 when they cross to Canada because they might be asymptomatic.

According to infectious disease specialist Dr. Jeff Kwong, the government of Canada must take action immediately because it only takes a handful of truck drivers to be infected and spread Covid-19 in Canada. A system of regular testing must be implemented to protect truck drivers and essential workers and to make sure that they will not be the source of a new infection. Truck drivers must also be vaccinated as soon as possible before more dangerous variants emerge.

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