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Lorry Drivers To Get COVID Test When Entering UK

The government is set to introduce COVID testing for lorry drivers entering the UK from mainland Europe. Previously, drivers had been exempt from testing requirements.

BBC News reports that while the Department for Transport (DfT) has not confirmed the move, sources have said that hauliers crossing from France will be included, and other European countries may potentially be impacted too.

The rapid lateral flow tests will take place on the UK side of the border, but the new regime would not be introduced immediately.

If a driver tests positive, the result would be re-run using a PCR test and accommodation provided for isolation if an infection is confirmed.

A government spokesperson said: “COVID testing requirements for hauliers leaving the country have changed, with France removing its requirement for a negative test before they enter from the UK.”

The spokesperson added that hauliers travelling to some countries will still need a negative test, and should check the entry requirements of the countries that plan to travel to. The government will be monitoring the increase in cases throughout Europe, they said and will review all the measures as the UK eases restrictions as per the roadmap out of lockdown.

Rod McKenzie, managing director of policy and public affairs at the Road Haulage Association (RHA), said his members were still awaiting details from the Department for Transport.

He said in a tweet that if the move is confirmed, it “shouldn't cause the chaos we saw at Christmas because testing infrastructure here is now in place and works well.”

However, there are concerns that some supplies could be disrupted if lorries coming into the UK are held up in Kent while drivers isolate themselves.

Any impact is likely to be minimal though because of the small percentage of drivers who test positive.

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