The Coutts border crossing is the only 24/7 commercial crossing between Alberta and Montana, and it is one of Canada’s busiest crossings into the U.S. Service at the border has been halted since Saturday as trucks and cars have formed a blockage in both directions on Highway 4, just north of the port of entry.
The blockade is due to an ongoing nationwide protest against the new mandate requiring truckers crossing the U.S.-Canada border to be fully immunized against the coronavirus. The policy, which went into effect on January 15, states that unvaccinated Canadian truckers crossing the two nations must get a PCR test and quarantine once they’ve returned home. The U.S. implemented a similar mandate on January 22 that requires all U.S.-bound travelers and truckers to show proof of their vaccination.
The protests originated in Canada’s capital last week when large groups of truckers participated in a convoy driving from Vancouver to Ottawa to demonstrate against the Covid-related restrictions. Smaller convoys also rallied in other Canadian towns and cities, including Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, and Winnipeg.
The vehicles blocking access to the U.S. border are causing backlogs and delays for a road considered a major artery for commercial goods between the countries, where truckers transport various goods, including beef and farm equipment. The Canadian Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection suggest travelers find an alternate route and utilize other border crossings. While trucks can cross at different ports, it may cause delays and additional expenses.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police offers are working on clearing the border crossings. However, there is no information at this time that indicates when traffic will begin moving again. Deringer will continue to monitor the situation and keep clients informed about delays with their shipments.