Multiple media outlets have reported that Canada plans to end its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for those traveling into the country.
Citing anonymous sources, the Globe and Mail reported that the changes to border rules are planned for Sept. 30. Canada ended its vaccination requirements for domestic and outbound travel in June. However, the United States and Canada have each had mandates blocking unvaccinated foreign nationals, including truck drivers, from crossing the border. Canada’s mandate, which requires U.S. truckers to show proof of vaccination before entering the country, went into effect on Jan. 15. The U.S. mandate, which requires cross-border truckers to be vaccinated, started on Jan. 22.
The reports that Canada is ending its border vaccine mandate has led to questions about whether the U.S. will do the same.
Earlier this week, Sen. John Tester, D-Mont., wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security asking for an end to the vaccine mandate for truck drivers from Canada and other travelers.
“Truck drivers and the goods they transport are the lifeblood of our economy,” Tester wrote. “This is especially true in northern border states, like Montana, that have a special trading relationship with Canada. Fertilizer, hay and other agricultural products from Canada are critical for farmers and ranchers in Montana and across America. Vaccine mandates for truck drivers, along with reduced hours at ports of entry, longer drive times and a shortage of truck drivers are making it harder and more expensive for American farmers and ranchers to get the products they need.”
Tester said the United States should work with Canadian officials to end all mandates in a coordinated fashion.
“This will prevent unnecessary confusion, increase trade and boost economies on both sides of the northern border,” he wrote. “I stand ready to assist the Department of Homeland Security in taking this step to fully reopen the northern border.”
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association also is inquiring with federal government contacts about the status of the U.S. restrictions. LL