ECG, the Association of European Vehicle Logistics, reports that the border restrictions introduced at German borders with the Tyrol region and the Czech Republic since 12 February continue to cause significant delays. The new rules were applied with no notice and therefore came into force before there was any opportunity to develop the necessary infrastructure for drivers to prepare or to take COVID tests.
The resulting traffic jams stretched for many kilometres throughout the week and groups of drivers were seen queueing at the borders with no application of social distancing and often in extremely cold conditions. These circumstances demonstrate a total lack of respect for professional drivers and expose them to unnecessary risk.
Following this a chain reaction was started which saw the chaos extended as neighbouring countries mirrored the German requirements and created delays at their own borders.
As Germany promises regular reviews of those countries it regards as high risk the industry fears further restrictions being applied at other borders without warning. The Green Lanes promoted by the European Commission since early in the current crisis must be protected at all costs and allowed to function correctly in order to allow supply chains to flow.
ECG President, Mr. Wolfgang Göbel, stated “reaction from the European Commission towards the German government is far too weak”. Drivers should be allowed to stay in their cabs, where they are not exposed to risk of infection, and to keep driving. Only in this way will the supply chains keep moving and Europe’s industries be able to continue to function.