US Border COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Updates: What to Know

February 8, 2022 | Jenni Gray

Vaccine mandates are now in effect along the U.S. borders, in an attempt to reduce the spread and severity of the COVID-19 virus. These mandates affect the travel of drivers going into Canada, as well as drivers entering the U.S. from Canada or Mexico.

These mandates will impact the approximately 160,000 truck drivers who regularly cross back and forth across the U.S./Canada border. Read on for more details about these mandates, and how they will impact drivers at your organization.


Canada’s Vaccine Mandate

Canada was first to implement a vaccine mandate, effective Jan. 15, 2022.

All drivers entering Canada, regardless of nationality, must be fully vaccinated. To qualify, this means individuals must show proof of receiving two doses of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), or Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine. A third booster shot is not required.

First, travelers can use this quick questionnaire to determine if they are eligible to enter Canada. Next, travelers should download the free app, ArriveCAN (available on iOS and Android), or access ArriveCAN on the web.

Drivers are strongly encouraged to use the ArriveCAN app to expedite entry into the country. Once a driver downloads the app, they can register and upload their vaccination information, which should be submitted within 72 hours before arrival into Canada. The American Trucking Associations also recommends drivers print their receipt to keep with them in the cab as well.

For the time being, drivers who have not downloaded the ArriveCAN app to submit their vaccination data may present paper documentation, such as their vaccination card. However, these drivers should expect delays.

Unvaccinated non-Canadian drivers attempting to enter Canada can be turned away as of Jan. 15, 2022. Unvaccinated Canadians are allowed entry, but are subject to a two-week quarantine requirement.


United State’s Vaccine Mandate

As announced in Oct. 2021, the U.S. has implemented a vaccine mandate on its borders effective Jan. 22, 2022.

Non-U.S. drivers entering the U.S. from Canada or Mexico for essential or non-essential reasons will be required to provide proof of full vaccination as outlined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This does not apply to U.S citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or U.S. nationals.

Like Canada, this means travelers must provide documentation that they have received two doses of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), or Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine, at least fourteen days prior to entry into the U.S. A third booster shot is not required.

Those who have symptoms may be referred to the CDC for medical evaluation.

These requirements are identical to the requirements for foreign nationals entering the U.S. for non-essential travel that went into effect on Nov. 8, 2021. 

A statement from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said: “These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating the cross-border trade and travel that is critical to our economy.”

As employers, be sure to keep your organization aware of these requirements and recommendations, so your drivers can reduce or eliminate delays during their international travel.


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