CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Prince Edward Island is telling its truck drivers to be tested for Covid-19 whenever they return to the province, under guidance from the province’s Chief Public Health Office, and also to isolate themselves.
When returning to the province, drivers and other rotating workers are being told to be tested within two days, within four to seven days, and within 10-12 days if still in the province.
In the first 14 days after returning home, they are being told to avoid public places, not visit or host people from outside their household, and not volunteer or work in places that involve contact with people from outside their household.
“You may interact with household members. Maintaining physical distance from household members is not necessary unless you become sick. If you develop symptoms at any time, you should go to a drop-in testing clinic and not wait until your next scheduled testing appointment,” says a memo distributed this morning by the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA).
Permitted activities in the first 14 days after returning home include outdoor recreation in uncrowded settings, and no-contact grocery pickups.
“It’s too bad because truck drivers already live a pretty isolated lifestyle. Now they’re telling them to isolate even more,” says Colin Parsons, general manager of Seafood Express, a cross-border carrier that hauls food products. “I guess for the greater good of public health, I can understand.”
The province’s truck drivers have access to Covid-19 testing services at the Confederation Bridge. Although truck drivers face the challenge of driving back and forth to the testing facilities during their off-duty time, he says.
Given the restrictions, some drivers are choosing to stay out on the road as long as they can, he adds.
“It is what it is,” Parsons says. “We hope it doesn’t last forever.”
“At this time, all of PEI’s Covid cases have been linked to travel from outside of the Atlantic Provinces,” the memo says.
“Since you are home for limited periods of time in between your work, it is important that you see your family and have the freedom to enjoy the outdoors. With this freedom comes responsibility to protect yourself, your family and the P.E.I. community.”
- This story has been updated to include comments from Seafood Express.
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