COVID test mandate for truckers in Prince Edward Island could impede supply chain

October 1, 2021

Greg Grisolano


A policy mandating COVID-19 testing for truckers entering Prince Edward Island is facing opposition from industry groups that say the process will further delay shipments along the supply chain.

Jean-Marc Picard, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, says the island’s requirement “will have huge impacts, delays and confusion.”

“Once (truckers) were exempt from these requirements because we were an essential service, and now that we are vaccinated we need to get tested,” he said in an email to Land Line. “Where is the end? This cannot continue. The supply chain will get crippled.”

Effective Sept. 30, everyone 8 years and older will be tested at the points of entry, regardless of immunization status and time outside of the province, according to the provincial government.

Nonresident truckers must get tested on entry regardless of vaccination status, APTA told its members in a bulletin.

Truck drivers who are residents of the island do not have to self-isolate after they receive their first negative test result if they are registered as rotational workers and are tested for COVID-19 at the required frequency.

Nonresidents do not qualify for exemption from self-isolation when in PEI and are required to follow the public health measures.

Those measures while working include maintaining physical distancing of six feet from individuals, wearing a mask, practicing hand hygiene and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.

When not working, drivers must self-isolate, including:

  • Not going to public areas, including grocery stores or other retail outlets. (Restroom breaks and refueling your vehicle are permitted, provided you maintain physical distancing from others, wear a nonmedical mask and pay at the pump where possible.)
  • Arranging no-contact delivery medication and other essentials.
  • Arranging no-contact delivery of food where at all possible. Drive-thru is permitted or fast-food service, provided you maintain physical distancing from others and wear a non-medical mask. Eat-in and dining room service is not permitted.
  • Not attending public events, places of worship, restaurants/bars, arenas, and gyms.
  • Not visiting or hosting people, including friends and family.

Drivers staying on the island for longer than 24 hours, and/or those staying somewhere other than their truck, or planning to visit family, must complete the PEI Self-Isolation Declaration.

Picard said his association is working with provincial authorities to provide some relief to truckers. He said that when New Brunswick imposed similar conditions on travelers last month, APTA was able to convince the provincial government to grant exemptions for truckers. LL