As we reported yesterday, the authorities in France now require lorry drivers travelling from Ireland to present a negative coronavirus test on arrival.
The Irish Government has since published information on where the testing centres are and how the testing system will work.
Drivers using Dublin Port should go to a dedicated testing point at Dublin Airport’s Blue Long Stay Car Park, signposted from M1 Junction 2 (Airport) and M50 Junction 4 (Ballymun).
Those boarding ferries at Rosslare Port should use the testing point in Gorey by the Circle K at the Motorway Service Area in Wexford, accessible from the M11.
Drivers have been encouraged to pre-book their test via this link as early as possible and to bring proof of their ferry booking to these sites when attending for a COVID-19 test, along with a form of photo identification and their digital tachograph card.
The Irish Government stress that proof of the negative test result (pdf) must be shown to the ferry operator before boarding and to French authorities if requested upon disembarkation. If a driver attempts to board a ferry to France without evidence of a negative Covid-19 test result, he/she will be denied boarding. If drivers somehow board a ferry to France without a check, they will be denied entry to France and be turned back.
Drivers may also get tested at the many private facilities around the country as long as these tests meet the French requirements, but these costs will not be covered by the State. A list of these sites is available here.
According to the Irish Government’s statement, drivers who test positive for COVID-19 will need to be referred by a GP/doctor for a free COVID-19 PCR test in Ireland. Where PCR test results are positive, drivers must follow public health guidance and self-isolate for 14 days.
The statement contained no information regarding hotel accommodation for drivers in the event they do need to self-isolate.
Besides carrying proof of their negative test result, truckers will also need to carry with them a signed “declaration of honour” form for the French authorities, confirming that he/she has no COVID-19 symptoms and that he/she has not been a close contact of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 14 days. This form, which must be shown to the ferry operator when boarding, is available here.
Commenting on the testing system, Ireland Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said:
“Hauliers and the overall transport and logistics sector have worked tirelessly to ensure the continued movement of essential supply chains over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and against the challenge of Brexit. I am now encouraging all hauliers to familiarise themselves with new testing requirements that are coming into effect for travel to France. To meet these new requirements, we have established state supported testing facilities near Dublin and Rosslare ports to ensure hauliers can be tested in advance of travel. Hauliers should be aware that if they do not present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result, they will be denied boarding a ferry to France. It is important to factor in these additional requirements to avoid any unnecessary disruption.”