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COVID tests for logistics workers will boost confidence in supply chains
The government’s announcement that logistics drivers, air crews and rail workers are to be tested for COVID-19 after their arrival in the UK will provide reassurance to businesses, Logistics UK has said.
PROTECTING THE SUPPLY CHAIN
Responding to Sunday’s announcement (28 March 2021), Sarah Laouadi, European Policy Manager at Logistics UK, said: “It is vitally important to protect the UK and its highly interconnected supply chain from the threat of new COVID-19 variants, and the nation as a whole. Rapid testing of drivers on arrival in the UK will provide additional confidence that businesses can be supplied safely.
TESTING MUST BE PROPORTIONATE
“However, it is worth remembering that drivers are, by the nature of their jobs and thanks to contactless delivery procedures, a very low risk category – as has been borne out by the testing carried out on drivers since the start of the pandemic where only 0.1% of them have tested positive for COVID-19. Any testing regime must be proportionate and not discriminate against those who are tasked with keeping British businesses and consumers stocked with the goods and services they need. We would urge the government to maintain a watching brief on the testing regime to ensure it remains appropriate and reacts to the situation on the ground.”
WHAT ARE THE NEW REQUIREMENTS?
Hauliers travelling to England from abroad (except Ireland) for longer than two days from 6 April 2021, will be required to take a COVID-19 test within two days of arrival. They will then need to take a further test every three days.
All hauliers must also self-isolate in their cab while they are in England, and will only be permitted to leave their cab for legitimate reasons such as:
- to buy food;
- take a COVID-19 test;
- use a toilet or undertake limited exercise;
- to refuel;
- to ensure the load and vehicle are roadworthy; or
- to sleep if the cab has no overnight compartment.
If HGV or van drivers do not comply with both testing and self-isolation rules, they will be subject to a fine of up to £2,000. Drivers are urged to get a free COVID-19 test at one of the UK Government Information and Advice sites or via workplace or community testing centres.
A new testing regime – similar to that applying to road haulage – will also apply to aircraft crew and pilots, Channel Tunnel system workers, international rail crew, seafarers and masters from 6 April.
Published On: 01/04/2021 14:00:53