CTA: CBP Releases Statement Reconfirming Need for All Essential Workers to be Vaccinated to Enter The US

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a statement late last week clarifying requirements for the opening of the US border to non-essential travel on November 8, which also reaffirmed the treatment of essential travellers, including the requirement for full vaccination, when crossing into the US as of January 2022:

“Individuals engaged in essential travel will not be required to be vaccinated at this time. Starting in January 2022, however, all inbound foreign national travelers crossing U.S. land POEs or ferry terminals – whether for essential or non-essential reasons – must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination.”

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has stated that the supply chain is not ready for the mandate to be introduced in January 2022 and that Canadian and US officials need to work with the trucking industry to develop a plan and alternative timeline to implement such a mandate, which could potentially bring serious disruptions to an already fragile supply chain as well as introducing significant delays at land ports of entry.

CTA’s statement also outlines the severe shortage of drivers in the industry, sectoral vaccination rates in both Canada and the United States and the need for Ottawa and Washington to work together to move the January deadline for full vaccinations of essential workers further into the future to minimize supply-chain disruptions.

“Our industry is already facing a significant driver shortage and introducing this mandate will cause significant disruptions at various points of the supply chain. Government and industry need to work together to develop a plan that achieves the goal of increasing vaccination rates while ensuring cross-border goods movement remains as seamless as possible,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski.

“Losing close to 38,000 drivers, essentially overnight, would be devasting, especially with no short-term labour help on its way. Make no mistake, if this mandate moves forward as planned, there will be significant consequences for the cross-border economy, the impact of which will be felt by the Canadian and American public,” added Laskowski.

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