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Lorry drivers exempt from new UK quarantine rule

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On Monday 8 June, the UK started to enforce a two-week quarantine period for people arriving in the country, including UK citizens. So what will this unprecedented measure mean for truck drivers?

Fortunately, to ensure the supply of goods is not disrupted, quarantine does not apply to lorry drivers. While most other travellers arriving at the UK’s ports will have to self-isolate for 14 days or face fines of up to £1,000, road haulage and freight transport are considered to be essential activities and are exempt. 

So how long will all this upheaval last? The UK’s quarantine period is set to be reviewed after three weeks, and it’s not yet known if it will be renewed. 

UK Covid guidance

To help truck travel continue, the UK government has issued Covid travel advice for the freight transport industry and related sectors. 

It’s reminded ferry operators of the need to allow for social distancing, particularly for sleeping accommodation, and has called on Eurotunnel to ensure proper health and safety measures at its terminals and on its Le Shuttle services.

And the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reiterated that premises visited by truck drivers as part of their work must let them use toilet and hand-washing facilities – both for welfare reasons, and to limit the spread of the virus. 

European Covid travel guidance

But while the UK’s new quarantine laws should not impact truck drivers, what about travel around the rest of Europe? France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Spain have all imposed certain entrance restrictions for travellers, while other countries are carrying out temperature checks or Coronavirus tests.

Again, road haulage and other essential workers are usually – but not always – exempt from these conditions. It’s essential that you check the latest guidance before you set off, particularly as the rules can change at short notice.

The UK Government’s Foreign Travel Advice pages allow you to check each country you are planning to visit, while the International Road Transport Union (IRU) offers up-to-date advice geared towards lorry drivers. 

What have your experiences been of truck driving around Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic?

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