The European Commission has published guidelines for the transportation sector, urging it to slowly return to its former track. The recommendation includes the resumption of passenger transport, as well as the gradual restoration of rules for road freight transport prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
Brussels presented a document entitled ‚COVID-19: Guidelines on the progressive restoration of transport services and connectivity‚ last week. The paper declares the transportation of goods should still be protected to ensure the functioning of supply chains. The European Commission (EC) is already talking about a „transition phase” in which border health checks should be gradually reduced, systematic quarantine (ie. their use regardless of symptoms and test results) as well as mandatory convoys in some countries, should be eliminated.
Also, Brussels assumes that truck traffic bans can be restored if traffic flow permits. In addition, further derogations from the rules on driving and rest times after the end of May 2020 should be more harmonized and limited to what is absolutely necessary to gradually restore or create uniformed and easily enforceable EU rules.
The EC also pointed out that it is necessary to intensify efforts so that trucks, in accordance with earlier guidelines, spend at borders within the so-called green corridors no more than a maximum of 15 minutes. The goal of these activities is ultimately to allow trucks to cross borders as they did before introducing coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
The Commission also underlines the important role that intermodal transport can play in the future:
Since traffic will increase again, the role of multimodal nodes, such as ports or container terminals, in supporting green lanes deserves special attention. Make the best use of all modes of transport, including inland shipping and rail, to guarantee the functioning of the supply chain, „reads the document.
As announced by Brussels, the Commission will monitor that the measures to limit the spread of coronavirus and their gradual abolition do not infringe the rules of the single market. And whether they create discriminatory effects contrary to the Treaties between EU carriers and service providers and that they do not discriminate against EU citizens or employees on the basis of nationality.