The European Commission is working on guidelines for EU Member States on the functioning of Green Lanes for trucks. Firstly, the Commission strongly supports and will recommend Member States to get rid of all additional papers and certificates (including the famous quasi impossible-to-get certificate proving that the driver is in good health). So no more paper complications for freight drivers.
Secondly, the big discussion within the European Commission now is whether green lanes should be only for some categories of “essential freight”. The argument, which is being well received and appreciated by the Commission, may face some political obstacles, is that all freight now remaining on the road is essential. Economy is slowing down so “non-essential” freight disappears by itself. So working on definitions and even more so, trying to differentiate freight in practice, is useless. All freight should benefit from green lanes, potentially only subject to random checks at the border and by police in the countries. Generalised checks at borders create useless bottle necks which can create major disruptions of necessary supplies. These bottle necks have to disappear by implementation of Green Lanes for all freight. New guidelines will most likely be issued in the next few days.
Check https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_510 for details.
Latest road transport related information from around European Countries
The Belgian government has agreed with all major banks on a postponement of payments on loans. VAT and company profit tax may also be postponed, by up to four months. €50 billion has been earmarked for this.
On Sunday 22 March, Federal officials announced that they expect corona to reach its peak contamination in Belgium “In the next week to 10 days”. They except stringent measures to be upheld until at least “mid may”.
NOTICE to Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Polish and Serbian road transport operators.
Urgent request from the Czech police. Please advise on the wide exemption from 561/2006 on the Czech territory. There is a critical situation on the CZ/Slovakian borders as some drivers take the 45 minute rest in the right lane blocking the access to the border crossing. Drivers are asked to take the rest elsewhere or postpone it.
Due to the growing number of infected people and the fast rising of casualties, the Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte announced another drastic step in response to the epidemic spreading. Italy will close its factories and all production that are not essential for the country until April 3, 2020. This new step doesn’t affect (or should not affect) transport and logistic operations which, so far, have been the backbone of the country. According to a statement of Carlo Bonomi, President of the Association of Lombardy Industries (Assolombarda), Italy is heading towards a ‘war economy’. In this way many companies will not be able to reopen and stay in the market, once the epidemic is over.
Strain on the supply chain is still enormous, but it looks like everyone is getting used to the new status of the sector. Curfew times for trucks in city centres are now raised or skipped massively, Amsterdam being the latest addition to the list. There is talk in society about a total lockdown, because government restrictions were neglected in the weekend: lots of people going outside to the beach or forests, all packed together. Government will view the situation for a few more days. On Sunday, for the first time, the growth of new patients on intensive care and that of newly infected patients was less than in the days before. False promise?
In general, government declared status of epidemic means they can relocate medical services and police to the places which need to be supported, leading to some zones becoming totally closed.
On most of the country borders the flow of trucks is quite normal, with the exception at Jedrzychowice on motorway A4 where trucks have to wait one hour. Still problems with passenger cars with foreign plates driving in transit to Lithuania or other Eastern countries. They can carry or transmit the virus when they drive 700 km through Poland, uncontrolled. All schools closed until April 12.
The Spanish government has decided to extend the state of emergency for two more weeks, until April 11.
Non-restrictions are maintained on the transport of goods, both nationally and internationally, and the Spanish government has announced that it will distribute 4 million masks among drivers and warehouse personnel.
Service stations and roadside restaurants were also ordered to facilitate drivers’ access to services, as well as food and drink, but not all of them are complying, which is creating a deep malaise among professionals.