Current testing arrangements for hauliers crossing the Channel – where they must have had a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of crossing – are set to continue following a decision by the French Government today (Thursday 7 January).
The continuation means that hauliers – including drivers and crew of HGVs, drivers of LGVs and van drivers – planning to cross the Channel should get a negative test before travelling to Kent or other Channel Crossing points.
Following the French Government’s original decision to close the border to the UK, and the subsequent reopening of the border to hauliers on the condition of a negative Covid test on the 23 December, it was agreed the arrangements would be reviewed regularly.
Having met to discuss the situation, the French Government has made the decision to keep current measures in place until further notice.
While the Government acted swiftly during December to help hauliers move across the border steadily, drafting in the military to deliver tests in Kent, hauliers are now being urged to get a negative Covid-19 test before travelling to the border, to help further with avoiding backlog or traffic management issues.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “After the decision by the French Government back in December, we acted swiftly to find a solution to the border closures, so hauliers could continue to travel and people continued to get their deliveries.
“Following the French Government’s decision today to extend the current arrangements, I continue to urge all hauliers to get tested before getting to the border, and only travel if they test negative.
“To help make this possible we are offering support to businesses to set-up testing facilities at their own premises, assisting the smooth passage of trucks and good across the border, as well as setting up testing at information and advice sites around the country.”
To help hauliers get tested before travelling to Kent, 34 information and advice sites have been set up across the country, linked to key haulier stopping spots on their journeys, so they can get their negative test before heading to the border. Further sites are in the process of being set up.
In addition, the Government is offering to help any business to set up a testing centre at its own premises to ensure trucks heading for France depart ‘COVID ready’. This includes the provision of testing kits entirely free of charge.
As with the previous arrangements agreed on the 23 December, hauliers must continue to have proof of an authorised negative test, conducted within 72 hours of travelling to the border to cross over.
If they do not meet these requirements, they will be stopped from travelling.