As of Jan. 15, 2022, all truck drivers entering Canada, regardless of nationality, must be fully vaccinated and carry proof of their vaccination status using the ArriveCAN app.
Canada still considers truck drivers “essential workers”, but that status no longer exempts them from the Canadian vaccine mandate. Truck drivers who have not met all the Canadian entry requirements will be turned away at the border.
On Jan. 22, the U.S. will begin requiring full vaccination of cross-border truck drivers entering the United States.
Canada requires these steps to ensure legal entry
Step 1: Drivers must be fully vaccinated under Canadian rules. In Canada, “fully vaccinated” means having two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine accepted by the Canadian government or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Canada accepts vaccines included in the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing. For U.S. residents, that listing includes the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Canada allows mixed doses of two accepted vaccines.
Regardless of the vaccine, the second dose (or the single Johnson & Johnson dose) must have been taken at least 15 calendar days before entry into Canada. Example: for entry on Jan. 15, 2022, the qualifying vaccine dose must have been taken no later than Dec. 31, 2021.
Truck drivers who medically cannot undergo the COVID-19 vaccination regimen must provide an exemption card issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Truck drivers should follow the ArriveCAN directions to upload their vaccination status. That information must be submitted at least 72 hours before entry.
To avoid any delay at the Canadian border, drivers should download a copy of the receipt that generates once their vaccination information has been submitted in ArriveCAN. Canadian border officials will want to see that digital receipt before allowing entry.
In addition, drivers should hand-carry their proof of vaccination (in addition to having submitted it via ArriveCAN). Border officials may ask to see the original proof. The use of paper documentation alone, without corresponding entries in ArriveCAN, will only lead to delays at the border, refusal of entry, and the potential for penalties and enforcement action.
For frequent cross-border travelers, ArriveCAN offers a reusable receipt. Updates to the app, though, require using a version of ArriveCAN dated after Nov. 30, 2021 to have the current valid receipt.
Step 3: Arrive in healthy condition. Fully vaccinated individuals can still contract COVID, so border officials will watch for signs or symptoms of the illness.
Step 4: Expect delays at the border. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is monitoring demand at all Canadian airports, seaports and border crossings, but these new vaccination rules and the unfamiliarity of many travelers with ArriveCAN may cause back-ups. Those entering by land can check CBSA’s website for estimated border wait times at select land ports of entry.
Step 5: Don’t forget other trucking requirements in Canada. COVID-19 rules can obscure the continuing requirements any trucker must meet for international travel. First, be sure the truck driver’s licensing is valid and up to date. Second, remember that Canada has its own requirements for electronic logging devices. Finally, be mindful of import/export rules on cargo. Motor carriers and importers are required to submit their electronic pre-arrival commercial information to the CBSA, within the prescribed timeframes.