31 March 2021
The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed that, from 6 April, all hauliers entering England from abroad (except those arriving from the Common Travel Area, including Ireland) and staying longer than two days must take a coronavirus test. To reduce the risk of new Covid variants entering and spreading in the UK, drivers must therefore take a test within two days of arrival and every three days thereafter.
We recently reported on speculation that lorry drivers would soon be required to take a Covid test after travelling from mainland Europe to England (see “Will drivers need a Covid test to enter UK?”) and details of when and where to get access to free testing can be found — here.
“France has removed its requirement for a negative test before entering from the UK,” the DfT said. “You will still require a negative test when travelling to some countries and are strongly encouraged to check the entry requirements of the countries you plan to travel to and get tested.”
It will also be a legal requirement from 6 April for hauliers to self-isolate in the cab during the duration of their time in England.
The essential purposes for which this rule will temporarily be waived include: obtaining food; seeking medical and emergency assistance; using wash facilities including using communal showers; refuelling; and to ensure their vehicles and loads are roadworthy.
The DfT clarified that drivers who are UK residents will be able to isolate at home while not working.
“Hauliers will be subject to regular monitoring on arrival in England and face fines of up to £2000 if they are found to not be complying with the new testing requirements, and up to £1000 if not complying with the cab self-isolation requirement,” it concluded.