‘Business as usual’: B.C. truckers crossing U.S. border despite COVID-19

Fraser Valley truckers still crossing U.S. borders but will be asked to self-quarantine during days home

Despite health officials asking British Columbians to not leave the country “it’s business as usual” for Fraser Valley trucking companies, as goods continue to cross the B.C.-Washington State border.

That’s according to the president of the B.C. Trucking Association, David Earle, whose advocacy organization represents 12,000 fleets from 400 trucking companies across the province.

There hasn’t been any decrease in truckers crossing, he said, even with news on Thursday from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry that residents should self-isolate for 14 days upon their return from any U.S. travel. due to the recent spread of COVID-19.

Henry clarified that truckers are exempt from this week’s sweeping travel advisory, and should have their own systems for hygiene and symptom-assessment.

In response, Earle responded “the B.C. government does not have the authority to stop cross-border travel.”

B.C. Premier John Horgan is putting pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to increase federal restrictions on land border crossings and “up their game,” Horgan told reporters Friday.

RELATED: B.C. calls on Trudeau to tighten border crossings for COVID-19

The Langley-based trucking association has been working to draft a “best practices” model for tens of thousands of truck drivers who will make the drive to-and-from the U.S. – many through Washington State which currently has more than 550 confirmed infections.

The job is contingent upon a practice that’s risen in popularity since COVID-19 has infected more than 60 in B.C.

“Social distancing,” Earle elaborated. “It’s 99 per cent of the job for truck drivers. They’re almost always isolated in their trucks.”

The trucking protocol – which is being created with agreement from B.C. governing bodies – is asking truckers to voluntarily quarantine themselves on days off after trips to the U.S., Earle elaborated.

The guidelines also recommend that truckers regularly clean their vehicles, equipment, and hands with sanitary supplies provided from their company.

Earle wants it to ensure the safety of all B.C. drivers, he said. The protocol is still subject to approval from B.C.’s Emergency Health Services (EHS).

READ MORE: B.C. recommends no travel outside Canada amid Coronavirus pandemic

If the frequency of cross-border travel hasn’t changed for Fraser Valley truckers since the spike of COVID-19 transmissions in B.C – then what has?

Questions truckers are being asked by U.S. and Canadian border guards, Earle answered.

They include: “Where have you been? How are you feeling?”

Canada’s Border Services Agency (CBSA) spokesperson Judith Gadbois-St-Cyr said such screening measures are used to assess potential health risks of travellers being processed.

“Entry screening alone is not a guarantee against the possible spread of this new virus,” Gadbois-St-Cyr admitted.

“But is an important public health tool during periods of uncertainty and part of a multilayered government response strategy.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack school trustees using Zoom to conduct meetings during pandemic

Public participation not available, but staff taking public questions before and after meetings

A little snow and hail for Chilliwack but no record broken

It was the second snowiest April day in Chilliwack on record Friday

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Are you a senior needing help during COVID-19? These Chilliwack volunteers are here for you

Picking up groceries and phone chats are just some of the services being offered at no charge

Chilliwack Learning Society finds new way to get free books to kids amid COVID-19 pandemic

Debbie Denault is hoping others will join her in handing out free books in their own neighbourhoods

As 240K apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

COVID-19 world update: 1,000 cases hit U.S. military; Good news in Spain, Portugal

Comprehensive collection of coronavirus news from around the world

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open this week

Bars, cannabis sector eligible for $40B credit program from government bank

Applicants must go through their own banks to access the program

Immunocompromised community call for more options to get groceries during COVID-19

One woman has decided to build a greenhouse to ensure she is able to access food throughout pandemic

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Most Read