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Canada to truckers: Wear a mask when you cross the border

Truck drivers must wear a nonmedical mask or face covering when they enter the country from the U.S. under a new rule to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Canadian truck driver Randy James Ulch wearing a face mask in his cab. (Image: Randy James Ulch)

Truck drivers crossing the Canadian border must wear a nonmedical mask or face covering under a new rule aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

The requirement took effect Wednesday under the directive from the Public Health Agency of Canada and covers all essential workers who cross the U.S.-Canada border.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance said it received assurances from the Canada Border Services Agencies that truck drivers will not be denied entry into Canada if they are not wearing masks or face coverings. CBSA officers will attempt to provide drivers with masks if they need them, the CTA said.

“It’s annoying, but it makes sense,” Canadian truck driver Randy James Ulch told FreightWaves.

The new requirement came as the CBSA also began temporarily reducing hours at 27 low-traffic border crossings. None of the reductions are in Ontario, where the largest share of trucks enter Canada from the U.S.

Canada has also implemented tougher restrictions on travelers entering Canada. Those arriving in the country must self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days in locations where they will not risk coming into contact with persons who are 65 or older, or have medical conditions.

Truck drivers and other essential workers are exempt from the self-isolation/quarantine mandate as long they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19.


  1. John

    In a perfect world this may help slow it down. I dont know about any other cross border drivers but the last 2 weeks wearing a mask pulling into U.S. customs at the Niagara crossings, 75% have been extremely rude and order me to take it off !! Also coming back home to Canada have been told all but 1 time to remove it as well but alot more politely. So in the conversation on the Canadian side on apr 27 the officer told me that as far as they were aware there was nothing saying it was mandatory and also need to see your whole face to compare/verify you to your id. You are more than welcome to wear it but you have to take it off and may put it back on after verification. Most know by that time you are cleared and pulling away already. Last 2 crossings one in each direction no mask no hassle and faster clearances. I wipe my passport down spray my ppw and wipe hands at booth and leave. Dont get me wrong I use a 3m respirator with P100 filters whenever I get out of my truck and bath in lysol and clorox before I get back in. In theory good idea in reality a mask at the border is more of a hassle and waste of time because they make you remove it. P.S. only once was a customs agent wearing a mask on either side of the border. They dont want us to infect them but is ok for us to get infected. P.P.S. if the 20% or so of the people who dont care, would actually take this seriously and stay home unless you need food or are a part of the essential work force, this would be over a lot sooner. Then all of the essential work force could have a break and wouldn’t have to fear for their lives everytime we have to go to work. I know long winded but really getting annoyed with the stupidity of the me me and only me movement

    1. Noble1

      Yes it works . Wearing a mask yourself when in close proximity of another when you can’t keep a social distance of 6 feet doesn’t protect you , it protects others from you in case you were to be infected . The same goes for another who wears a mask when in close proximity to you when social distancing cannot be exercised such as in public transit etc . Therefore , a person wearing a mask when in close proximity to you is exercising social responsibility and thereby protecting you from them in case and if they were to be infected without knowing and or without any symptoms .

      Nobody “likes” wearing a mask . However, we need to use good judgement and exercise social responsibility to act for the benefit of society at large .

      In other words , from my perspective we are being pushed by the COVID-19 pandemic to care more for one another and act responsibly towards one another in order to beat it . Hopefully this unfortunate pandemic will instill good habits within us as a whole in regards to one another . This pandemic is bringing forth awareness ,empathy , and compassion for one another . It’s obligating us to unite in order to beat it . We cannot beat the COVID-19 pandemic on our own . We can beat it only if we act and behave in certain ways “collectively” as a whole .

      In my humble opinion ……….

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected]