Canada will permit its unvaccinated truck drivers to enter from the U.S., a reversal from a previous decision mandating all truckers receive their COVID-19 shots.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said Wednesday that Canadian truck drivers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated at the U.S.-Canada border would not be required to partake in pre-arrival, arrival and post-arrival testing and quarantine requirements, according to Reuters.
However, American truck drivers are still required to be vaccinated starting Saturday under the new policy. If they are not, they will be turned away at the border.
Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauCanadians warned against travel to Ukraine Canada to allow unvaccinated Canadian truckers to enter from US Montreal limiting gatherings in homes to six people MORE had reportedly faced mounting pressure to get rid of the requirement from the opposition party and the trucking lobby.
Critics feared the policy would cause driver shortages and create issues with supply chains that could contribute to rising inflation, Reuters reported.
Of the goods traded between Canada and the U.S., which are in total worth about $511 billion, more than two-thirds are transported via trucking, the news service noted.
Throughout the pandemic, trucks have traveled freely across the border as they were deemed essential to supply chains.
The Biden administration has pushed for vaccine mandates for some truck drivers, a move that has been criticized by Republican lawmakers.
“We write to share our concerns with the coming vaccine mandate for essential workers at the U.S.-Canada border, which will include truck drivers,” a group of Senate Republicans said in a letter to Biden last month.
“Trucking is the largest mode of surface trade with Canada; every day, there are approximately 14,000 total truck entries along the U.S.-Canada border hauling more than $846 million of goods. Any disruptions to the continuity of U.S.-Canada trade would likely have far-reaching consequences that extend beyond our shared border,” they added.