The UK Government has announced that lorry drivers entering England from abroad (with the exception of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man) must be tested for coronavirus if they stay longer than 2 days.
The change will apply as of Tuesday April 6th. Drivers will need to take their first test within the first 2 days of their arrival to England, and then take further tests every 3 days.
HAULIER NEWS: From April 6, lorries visiting England from outside UK (and the Common Travel Area) for more than 2 days will need to take a #Covid test within 48hrs + one every 72hrs after. This is to ensure we keep track of any future #Coronavirus Variants of Concern.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) March 28, 2021
The rule applies to drivers and crews of HGVs and drivers of vans and other light goods vehicles, regardless of where they are registered. Those who spend less than 48 hours in the UK need not take a test.
The date and time of arrival will be collected and recorded in the passenger locator form, which drivers are required to complete.
Where can drivers get tested?
Drivers do not need to get tested abroad before they arrive in England. They simply need to get tested within 48 hours if they are to spend more than 2 days in the UK.
Free testing for hauliers is available at haulier advice sites around the country. Booking a test in advance is not necessary, but the government advises that you check the list of sites to make sure they are open and if they are likely to be busy.
Drivers who get a test at a haulier advice site will be provided with a letter which states:
- the time and date of the test
- the day of testing – for example, day 2, day 5 or day 8
- some personal details, which can be used as evidence of undertaking the test
The UK Government adds that it is also possible for drivers to get tested using the following means:
UK-based international hauliers who use workplace or home testing are expected to register the test on the NHS app. The registration can then be used as evidence.
Rod Mckenzie of the Road Haulage Association claims that lorry drivers are already having tests done upon arrival in the UK, and new mandatory testing will have ‚minimal’ impacts on efficiency.@TomSwarbrick1 | #SwarbrickOnSunday | @RHARodMcKenzie pic.twitter.com/341Onhtuz9
— LBC (@LBC) March 28, 2021
Many haulage associations throughout Europe have criticised testing measures, particularly the requirements recently introduced by Germany. However, the Road Haulage Association welcomed yesterday’s announcement, tweeting “This will help keep GB and EU member states protected as we all embark upon the road to recovery.”
Speaking on LBC Radio, RHA Managing Director Rod Mckenzie also said that the change would only have a minimal impact on supply chains.
Photo credit: WolfBlur / Pixabay