Hours of Service Regulations and Applicability to COVID-19 Response Efforts

Hours of Service Relief Available to Carriers Engaged in the Transport of Essential Supplies and Equipment in Direct Assistance to the Emergency Relief Efforts During the Response to COVID-19

In order to keep goods and services moving during the country’s response to COVID-19, both federal and provincial hours of service regulations are being eased for carriers engaged in the transport of essential supplies and equipment in direct assistance to the emergency relief efforts during the response to COVID-19.

Interpretation – Provincial (Intra-provincial Carriers)

For the purposes of carriers that operate strictly within Manitoba’s boundaries, the Drivers Hours of Service Regulation (Manitoba Regulation 72/2007) provides that

2(1) These Regulations apply to all commercial vehicles other than the following:

(c) a commercial vehicle transporting goods or passengers for the purpose of providing relief in the case of an earthquake, flood, fire, famine, drought, epidemic or other disaster;

This exemption is limited to the transportation of goods and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its driver(s) related to the emergency relief efforts during the response to COVID-19 outbreaks, including transportation to meet immediate needs for:

  1. medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;
  2. supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants;
  3. food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores;
  4. immediate precursor raw materials-such as paper, plastic or alcohol-that are required and to be used for the manufacture of items in categories (1), (2) or (3);
  5. fuel;
  6. equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19;
  7. persons designated by Federal, Provincial/Territorial or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes; and
  8. persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response.


  1. Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added, to obtain the benefits of this regulatory relief during the response to COVID–19.
  2. A carrier will not request, require or allow a driver to drive if their faculties are impaired by fatigue to the point where it is unsafe for the driver to drive.
  3. A driver may potentially be the subject of a declaration of out-of-service if the driver operates a commercial vehicle while his / her ability or alertness is so impaired or so likely to become impaired through fatigue as to make it unsafe for him / her to begin or continue to operate the commercial vehicle.
  4. Drivers are encouraged to take ten consecutive hours of rest following delivery (or return from delivery) of relief supplies/persons.
  5. Upon the cessation of the conditions leading to the suspension of the applicability for hours of service, a driver is required to take the period specified in section 28 for a cycle reset prior to driving a commercial vehicle.

Interpretation – Federal (Extra-provincial Carriers)

The exemption for carriers operating for direct assistance to the restoration of essential services and supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, covered under the federal Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations, concluded on April 30, 2020. Carriers are now required to be fully compliant with the regulation.