Lorries Thousand Islands International Bridge St Lawrence River Canada-US border dreamstime_xxl_199401385

Two lorries on the Thousand Islands International Bridge, a key crossing point over the St Lawrence River at the Canada-US border Photo: Chandra Ramsurrun, Dreamstime

New laws that require truck drivers in North America to present Covid vaccine passports when entering Canada or the US are expected to force up the price of imported goods including fresh fruit and vegetables.

Canada’s ruling, introduced on 15 January, means that US truckers without the right documents are denied entry, while non-vaccinated Canadian drivers have to quarantine on their return.

A similar requirement comes into force in the US on Saturday, 22 January.

As reported by Business Insider, this has limited the number of drivers available for cross-border transfers, and pushed up transport rates as a result.

George Pitsikoulis, who runs Montreal-based Canadawide Fruits, told Bloomberg that the cost of bringing fruit from California and Arizona by road to Canada was up by a quarter last week.

The American Trucking Association reportedly estimated that no more than 60 per cent of US truck drivers were fully vaccinated.