The European Commission’s plans to ease congestion at key borders across the bloc might not be working as well as they’d hoped.
Truck queues at Hungary’s borders that had virtually vanished on Tuesday 26 March, suddenly reappeared the following afternoon.
This was after the Hungarian chief medical officer declared that all truck drivers at its borders need to undergo a medical check to see if they are showing Covid-19 symptoms.
Hungarian drivers not showing symptoms need to go into a 14-day quarantine once a delivery is completed within the country.
According to data from real-time shipment visibility platform Sixfold, an 18km queue quickly built up at the Austria-Hungary border, and there was a 19km tailback at the largest crossing between Hungary and Romania.
Hungary’s new rules appear to contravene Europe’s green lanes policy and confirm the World Road Transport Union’s (IRU) fears that globally-coordinated regulations for the industry are not being adhered to.
The IRU’s secretary general, Umberto de Pretto explained: “We are extremely concerned about the lack of coordination and individual approaches put in place by governments worldwide. The global community can only deal with this pandemic if it acts together.”
The IRU wants to see safety standards and conditions for drivers harmonised and the 14-day quarantines in some countries abandoned. Instead, it is calling for access to free testing and hygiene tools to ensure drivers can work safely and deliver goods in time.