For the time being, truck drivers delivering essential goods will be back to judging their own alertness level.
This comes after the Saskatchewan government announced that it was modifying its hours of service regulations, making exemptions for truckers that are carrying loads directly related to battling COVID-19.
Under current rules, drivers are limited to either 13 hours of driving or 15 hours of "on-duty" time after a full 8 hours off or face financial penalties.
While those restrictions are no longer being enforced, the government still recommends that employers monitor their drivers hours and that drivers take a 24 hour break after 14 consecutive working days.
After the emergency has been lifted, any driver must have eight consecutive hours off duty before driving again.
Here is a full list of goods and services that are part of the exemption:
- medical supplies and equipment related to testing, diagnosis and treatment;
- supplies and equipment necessary for community safety and sanitation, such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants;
- food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centres or stores;
- raw materials, such as paper, plastic or alcohol, required for the manufacture of medical supplies, sanitation items and safe distribution of groceries;
- equipment, supplies and people to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine and isolation facilities;
- people designated by Federal, Provincial/Territorial or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes; and
- people needed to provide other medical or emergency services.
Truck drivers are also exempt from the 14 day isolation period upon returning to Saskatchewan but are asked to self-monitor for any symptoms, and to isolate for 14 days if symptoms appear.