CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Prince Edward Island has relaxed self-isolation rules for truck drivers, the province announced Monday.
It said truckers are no longer required to self-isolate if they agree to undergo regular tests, and the tests remain negative.
“Truck drivers traveling off Island within Canada and the U.S. can be tested weekly for Covid-19. If the test is negative, you no longer have to self-isolate when at home,” it said in a statement.
“However, please monitor for symptoms of Covid-19, and if symptoms should occur self-isolate and call 811 for testing,” it added.
The move came amid a furor over a hefty fine against a truck driver, who had left his apartment to get some groceries.
But the province insisted that the relaxation had nothing to do with the incident, saying it had been in the works for some time now.
The PEI Trucking Sector Council agreed. It said the change was not the result of a driver being fined.
“We had been working on this long before he was fined,” the council said.
Trucker Philipp Reimus said he was fined $1,000 for venturing out of his apartment in Stratford to buy some food.
The German national, who had been working in Nova Scotia for the past year, had moved to his new residence May 1, he said.
He tried to get tested for Covid-19 on that day, but by the time he arrived at the testing center, the doctor had already left, Reimus told Today’s Trucking.
Reimus was issued the ticket May 4.
“I reached out to P.E.I. as well as Transport Canada to lobby on his behalf, and to protect the interests of truckers and essential workers suffering under difficult circumstances.”– Mike Millian, president, Private Motor Truck Council of Canada.
He soon contacted Mike Millian, president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, for help in getting the fine waived.
Millian has since spoken to government officials in P.E.I. to help resolve the issue.
“I reached out to P.E.I. as well as Transport Canada to lobby on his behalf, and to protect the interests of truckers and essential workers suffering under difficult circumstances,” Millian said.
The trucker’s story was first published by CBC News website, where it drew sharp reaction from readers.
As of Monday, P.E.I. has reported 27 positive cases. All patients have recovered.
– This story has been updated to clarify that the relaxation of self-isolation rules was unrelated to the imposition of the fine.
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