Canada to truckers: Wear a mask when you cross the border

Canadian truck driver Randy James Ulch wearing a face mask in his cab

Truck drivers crossing the Canadian border must wear a nonmedical mask or face covering under a new rule aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

The requirement took effect Wednesday under the directive from the Public Health Agency of Canada and covers all essential workers who cross the U.S.-Canada border.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance said it received assurances from the Canada Border Services Agencies that truck drivers will not be denied entry into Canada if they are not wearing masks or face coverings. CBSA officers will attempt to provide drivers with masks if they need them, the CTA said.

“It’s annoying, but it makes sense,” Canadian truck driver Randy James Ulch told FreightWaves.

The new requirement came as the CBSA also began temporarily reducing hours at 27 low-traffic border crossings. None of the reductions are in Ontario, where the largest share of trucks enter Canada from the U.S.

Canada has also implemented tougher restrictions on travelers entering Canada. Those arriving in the country must self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days in locations where they will not risk coming into contact with persons who are 65 or older, or have medical conditions.

Truck drivers and other essential workers are exempt from the self-isolation/quarantine mandate as long they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19.