12 Jan Coronavirus testing for hauliers before leaving the UK for France

Business are being requested to assist to ensure that hauliers can move steadily across the border from the UK to France via Kent.

The requirement for hauliers planning to cross the Channel to get a negative Covid-19 test before travelling to Kent or other Channel crossing points is set to continue, following a decision by the French Government on 7 January to keep the current measures in place until further notice. This requirement includes drivers and crew of HGVs, drivers of LGVs and van drivers.

Businesses are requested to discuss the plans that any haulage companies you work with have in place, to ensure their hauliers have tested negative, with the test conducted within 72 hours prior to travel, before travelling to the border.

The Government has established 34 free Covid testing facilities at haulier advice sites as detailed at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/haulier-advice-site-locations

Despite these being in place, the majority of HGVs are still arriving at the Kent ports without having undertaken tests. As traffic volumes increase, this could lead to disruption, and delay goods crossing the border.

As capacity at the Government sites will be limited, businesses are asked to consider whether testing hauliers on your own premises, such as at your depots, might be a suitable arrangement to put in place. Several companies have found this to be a mutually beneficial arrangement. This does require some preparation, the acceptance of requirements on matters such as data sharing and risk, and you would need to provide people to administer the tests.

The Department of Health and Social Care will provide lateral flow testing kits entirely free of charge until the end of March 2021 and support you in establishing testing facilities via webinars and Q&A sessions.

If you would like to explore setting up testing for hauliers at your own premises, please contact e: employee.testing@beis.gov.uk

Angela Mason
Angela Mason