Last reviewed 26 March 2021

The requirements placed on lorry drivers moving between the UK and Europe are complicated and subject to rapid change. This month has seen the need for a coronavirus test to enter France removed and drivers told that they do not need to take a test if they are returning to the Netherlands after spending less than 48 hours in the UK.

Details of North Sea routes and expected journey times from the Netherlands can be found — here.

Now comes news from the Department for Transport (DfT), as yet unverified, that lorry drivers will be required to take a Covid test after travelling from mainland Europe to England. So far, these drivers have been among the groups exempt from compulsory testing which also includes border control officials.

If press reports prove accurate, however, these rules could change before the end of March and returning lorry drivers could be subject to a test once they are back in this country. Last week, at a meeting of the Home Affairs Committee, its chairwoman, Yvette Cooper, raised the question of why hauliers coming from France were still in the exempt group.

She highlighted that 20,000 people arrive from France every week and two-thirds of them — including lorry drivers — are exempt from restrictions.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the Government is watching the threat from new variants of coronavirus being brought into the country very carefully but also said that he was aware of the serious disruption caused to cross-Channel trade in December when France suddenly introduced testing for lorry drivers.