P.E.I. increasing supports for truckers at the Confederation Bridge

·2 min read

For truck drivers who routinely travel to and from Prince Edward Island, the province says it is increasing support at the Confederation Bridge.

"There has been a second screener added for truck drivers during the high traffic-volume times," said the Chief Public Health Office in statement to CBC News.

"Two drivers can now be screened at a time so as to move them through faster."

In the P.E.I. Legislature Wednesday, Opposition leader Peter Bevan-Baker raised concerns around wait times for truckers and access to washrooms.

"This week I have received a number of calls from truckers who are finding it increasingly difficult to make their way back home," said Bevan-Baker.

"We all understand why going off-province and coming back requires a certain level of extra precaution. But these guys have been doing it for a very long time now and it's beginning to wear on them."

Facilities for drivers

On P.E.I., truck drivers who are considered rotational workers are obligated to follow specific rules.

Those who are provincial residents do not need to self-isolate as long as they undergo COVID-19 testing at the required times. But non-P.E.I. residents are not exempt from isolation and must follow the work-isolation guidelines.

John Robertson/CBC
John Robertson/CBC

Meanwhile, in the legislature Thursday, P.E.I. Minister of Health and Wellness James Aylward said when the bridge is closed there are facilities open to truck drivers.

"There are washrooms available at the testing site as well as at the scale house that the truckers can utilize," said Aylward.

"There are food and beverage services available as well ... through the drive-thru."

New system being created

In the statement to CBC News, the CPHO said it, "recognizes the impact waiting in border lines has on truck drivers."

Moving forward, Aylward said a new system is also in the works at the bridge to decrease the wait times for truck drivers even more.

John Robertson/CBC
John Robertson/CBC

"We've heard their concerns and we're in the process of implementing a system whereby all they will have to do is provide the rotational worker registration over at the scale house," said Aylward.

"This will eliminate the need for the collection of names and contact information at the scale house and will reduce wait times dramatically."

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