P.E.I. imposes Covid tests, restrictions on drivers

The new restrictions imposed on truck drivers traveling to Prince Edward Island will slow down the supply chain, the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) warned.

Jean-Marc Picard, executive director, APTA, said the provincial government is adding an extra layer of things to do for truckers who sometimes travel through three provinces in a day.

The Confederation Bridge links P.E.I. to the mainland. Everyone 8 years and older will tested at the points of entry, regardless of immunization status and time outside of the province. (Photo: iStock)

Non-resident truckers must get tested on entry regardless of vaccination status, APTA told its members in a bulletin. If they are not fully vaccinated, they are required to work isolate when in P.E.I. and if fully vaccinated, they are not required to isolate.

Drivers who reside on the island are also required to get tested upon entry. If an island driver makes two or more trips off island in a week, they only need to get tested once every five days.

The APTA says drivers who make regular trips to P.E.I. – at least twice weekly, for example – will only be required to be tested every five days.

Those who don’t make regular trips to the island will be asked to be tested upon entry. If they have an approval letter from Justice and Public Safety, they will be directed to follow the guidance in that letter, for example, requirement to work isolate.

The province’s website says from Thursday, everyone 8 years and older will tested at the points of entry, regardless of immunization status and time outside of the province. People must be fully vaccinated to be eligible for a PEI Pass, which allows returning islanders and visitors who meet appropriate criteria to be exempt from self-isolation when entering the province.

All people arriving in P.E.I. who are not fully vaccinated, including those who are partially vaccinated, will need to self-isolate for eight days (subject to a test on day 8) and complete a self-isolation declaration.

The province’s website also highlights that “due to increased testing at the points of entry, travel delays, especially in Borden-Carlton, are to be expected.”

APTA’s Picard says vaccinated or not, it does not seem to matter to the P.E.I. government, which is “mind boggling.”

“The more rules or steps put in place, it impacts the drivers’ day, impacts supply chain and operations of companies,” he said.

“Some companies have a lot trucks going in and out of P.E.I. in a day, so that’s unfortunate,” Picard added.

He said when New Brunswick imposed conditions on travelers a couple of weeks ago, the APTA held discussions with the provincial government and exemptions were made for truckers. Regarding P.E.I., Picard said, “I’m already talking to the deputy minister, and it didn’t seem to change anything.”

By Leo Barros

Leo Barros is the associate editor of Today’s Trucking. He has been a journalist for more than two decades, holds a CDL and has worked as a longhaul truck driver. Reach him at leo@newcom.ca