Shropshire Chamber of Commerce is urging haulage companies to ensure their staff are Covid tested before trying to leave the UK – to avoid potentially costly delays.
Ruth Ross, the Chamber’s director of business, said: “It appears there are a number of haulage operators who are unaware of the regulations which are currently in place before gaining entry to France.
“All hauliers planning to cross the Channel are currently required to provide proof of a negative Covid test, which must have been carried out within 72 hours of the departure time.
“The Government has asked for our assistance in helping to spread the word around the Shropshire business community, to ensure that our hauliers can move steadily across the border.
“Delays can be very costly, and these measures relate to drivers of HGVs, LDVs and other vans.”
The Government has set up a network of 34 Covid testing facilities at haulier advice sites across the UK, along some of the busiest freight transport routes.
The nearest sites to Shropshire are on the M6 at Stafford, Sandbach and Cannock, and Strensham on the M5. The full list of locations can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/haulier-advice-site-locations
However, the Government has warned that capacity at some of these testing centres will be limited.
Paul Scully, minister for small business, said companies may want to consider testing hauliers on their own premises.
“The Department of Health and Social Care will provide lateral flow testing kits entirely free of charge until the end of March, and support in establishing testing facilities,” he said.
In addition to Covid tests at the advice sites, drivers and crew of HGVs, LGVs and vans can also find out about the rules and documents needed to move goods between the UK and EU, and complete a free border readiness check to ensure they have the correct documentation to cross the EU border
Drivers and crew using Dover and Eurotunnel will also get fast-tracked past queues if they get tested and have a valid Kent Access Permit before arriving in Kent.