Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair recently issued a statement saying that the federal government is currently looking into introducing COVID-19 testing requirements for any essential workers crossing Canada’s borders.
In an interview on Rosemary Barton Live, Blair said that they’re working with the Public Health Agency of Canada and with the provincial governments in order to work on getting a system set up to ensure the regular testing of essential workers, like truckers from Titan Transline, that come into the country, as well as to ensure that they’re safe.
Blair states that these measures are separate from the measures the federal government is implementing regarding non-essential travel into and across Canada.
Notably, Blair’s comments came the day before Canada officially required negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for non-essential travellers entering Canada by its land border.
This new requirement also requires that the test be dated within 72 hours of reaching Canada’s borders, but exempts people in cross-border communities, as well essential workers; emergency service providers, and truckers, among others.
Following entrance into Canada, travellers will have to take another test, plus spend 14-days in quarantine, with another test just before the end of that period.
These requirements will take effect come February 22, which is also the same day where air travellers going into Canada will be required to spend 72 hours in hotel quarantine, out of their own pockets, while they wait for test results.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that vaccinated Canadians are not exempt from these requirements, though the government will review individual cases to consider people who are dealing with difficult situations and actually have a need to travel.
Blair told Rosemary Barton, CBC’s Chief Political Correspondent, that there is some wiggle room when it comes to deciding what counts as ‘essential travel’. They said that the Canadian government recognized that there are extenuating circumstances for some people, which is why the Public Health Agency of Canada is allowed to weigh in on the appropriate response for such cases, which the government will try to deal with in the most appropriate manner.