EU OMNIBUS REGULATIONS
The European Union has adopted its regulation on the extension of a number of transport certificates and inspection deadlines. The Regulation of the European Parliament and that of the Council lay down specific and temporary measures in view of the COVID-19 outbreak concerning the renewal or extension of certain certificates, licences and authorisations and the postponement of certain periodic checks and periodic training in certain areas of transport legislation become applicable on 4 June.
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In many cases, the Irish Government has the possibility to opt out the EU measures and keep an alternative measure that has already been adopted at national level. There is also the possibility to lengthen the extensions adopted by a further 6 months once notified to the EU Commission. An example of the extensions available is outlined in Figure 1:
Not all allowable extensions have to date been requested by the Irish Authorities, but the option is there to do so.
DEROGATION IN DRIVING TIME:
The temporary relaxation from certain provisions of EU driving and resting time rules due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic expired on the 31st May 2020. From 1 June 2020, operators and drivers must comply with the normal rules applicable to driving and resting times for drivers of commercial vehicles.
PASSENGER LOCATOR FORMS
Effective the 28th May 2020, passengers arriving into the State through a port or airport are required to complete this form with the exception of the following:
- Passengers arriving from Northern Ireland
- Passengers leaving the State from their port or airport of arrival without otherwise exiting the port or airport.
- Holders of a Certificate for International Transport Workers, or drivers of a heavy goods vehicle, who are in the State in the course of performing their duties.
- Aircraft crew, including the pilot, who are in the State in the course of performing their duties.
- Ship crew, including the maritime master, who are in the State in the course of performing their duties.
- Foreign diplomats.
RETURN TO WORK PROTOCOL
All employees must be provided with training and guidance on the new COVID-19 protocols to minimise the risk of spread of the Coronavirus. It is incumbent on all employers to ensure the safety of their workforce but also that of contractors and visitors. The Health & Safety Authority has provided a suite of templates to assist employers prepare for their compliance in this area:
- Establish and issue a pre-return to work form for workers to complete at least 3 days in advance of the return to work.
- Provide an induction training for all workers.
- Put in place of the necessary controls identified in the risk assessment to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
- Implement temperature testing in line with Public Health advice.
Protecting the safety of the workforce is the priority of all businesses within the logistics sector. To help employers and employees understand their legal obligations under the Government’s ‘Return to Work Safely’ protocol, the Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) has new online courses designed with accessibility and affordability in mind. The courses will help to ensure businesses are able to kick-start their operations as efficiently and swiftly as possible, and, most importantly, contain the spread of COVID-19 through effective and safe working practices.