CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Prince Edward Island’s truck drivers continue to face some of the tightest Covid-19 restrictions in the industry, but they won’t have to completely self isolate when waiting for regular test results.
The clarification emerged today in a bulletin distributed by the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA).
Still, truck drivers who routinely travel in and out of the province are now being asked to apply for the rotational worker status that clears them to interact with family members and enjoy outdoor activities when returning. They’ll also need to complete Covid-19 testing on Days 0-2, 4-7, and 10-12, depending on how long they remain.
“Between November 23 and December 7, truck drivers who remain inside Atlantic Canada are subject to the rotational worker rules but are not required to be tested. Truck drivers are asked to apply for rotational worker status as soon as possible but may follow the rotational rules in this transition period,” a provincial public health bulletin adds.
“To qualify, truck drivers must limit their activities while outside Prince Edward Island to dropping off or picking up their freight. They must not enter any public spaces such as stores and restaurants, or visit with anyone.”
Outdoor recreation is permitted when they return, but when truck drivers encounter people from outside their household they are being told to wear a non-medical mask and maintain a six-foot distance. Medical, dental and other healthcare appointments are permitted, as well as picking up groceries or other items at a no-contact drive thru.
A testing clinic is open from 8 am to 3 pm at 20 Dickie Drive in Borden, P.E.I. Other testing locations and times can be accessed at www.PrinceEdwardIsland.ca/CovidTesting.
Asymptomatic commercial truck drivers from other regions don’t need to self-isolate when entering the province, but need to receive a letter of approval to enter PEI, avoid gatherings, and practice other health measures. They are also expected to undergo tests at Days 0-2, 4-7, and 10-12 if they remain in the province.
The testing might offer a sense of comfort for those drivers who travel through the U.S. or Central Canada, where case counts are higher, says APTA executive director Jean-Marc Picard.
“I just hope it doesn’t slow down the carriers’ ability to deliver goods normally or in a timely fashion.”
He doesn’t expect other Atlantic provinces to introduce similar restrictions.
“New Brunswick is different. It’s a drive-through province. It would be pretty hard to monitor and bring tighter rules,” he says. “We touch the U.S. We touch Quebec.”
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