TORONTO — Essential workers must wear a protective face covering when crossing the border from the United States to Canada, according to a notice released April 15 by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).
The release states that the CTA has been informed by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) that the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is directing the agency, effective immediately, to implement a policy requiring all essential workers crossing the border to wear a nonmedical mask or face covering and to provide drivers with a mask should they not have one.
In a conversation with a spokesperson for CBSA, CTA was told that no drivers will be turned away from entering Canada as a result of this policy and that the border-services agency will attempt to provide drivers with a mask should they not have one.
Health Canada offers guidance regarding nonmedical face coverings. Because nonmedical masks offer limited protection, the agency offers the following and other notations (to view all guidance, click here):
- Wearing a nonmedical mask is an additional measure you can take to protect others around you (in situations where physical distancing is difficult to maintain given recent evidence related to transmission from persons who are pre-symptomatic or have no symptoms).
- Wearing a nonmedical mask is another way to cover your mouth and nose to prevent your respiratory droplets from contaminating others or landing on surfaces. Just like our recommendation not to cough into your hands (instead, cover your cough with tissues or your sleeve) a mask can reduce the chance that others are coming into contact with your respiratory droplets.
- If you choose to use a non-medical face mask: 1) You must wash your hands immediately before putting it on and immediately after taking it off (in addition to practicing good hand hygiene while wearing it); 2) It should fit well (non-gaping); and 3) You should not share it with others.
CTA noted that the agency will work with CBSA and PHAC to specifically define which appropriate face coverings will satisfy the policy.