International Truck Drivers face quarantine in some EU States

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After a truck driver returns from an international trips, either from the red zones or elsewhere, some have to enter quarantine for 14 days as discovered by Fleet Transport from reports received from fellow editorial colleagues across Europe. There seems to be no pan-European guidelines on this issue with each EU State implementing their own regulations regarding COVID-19.

“The issue has emerged to be a difficult problem for the Romanian truck drivers who return from Europe. Since Monday last, they have to go 14 days into quarantine, himself and his family, too. Or, if the driver do not want to go home, the employer is obliged to pay him a room at a hotel up to 14 days. If he has a transport trip in 5 days, he has to stay at the hotel or at a space offered by local authorities, be paid by the transport company for the 5 days and afterwards he can return to the truck and make a trip. When coming back, the same situation.”

decree issued by the Italian Government obliges self-isolation, for 14 days after the return, for people returning to Italy, even if asymptomatic compared to COVID-19. It concerns all people who return to Italy by any means of transport. Self-isolation is not required for those who transit or stop in Italy for proven work needs (e.g. truck drivers), and are still obliged to leave the country within 72 hours of entry, extendable of an additional 48 hours for proven specific needs. However, for these people, it is mandatory to fill out a declaration stating entry in Italy for the proven working need, and with engagement to immediately report, in the event of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, the situation to the Department of prevention of local health company and to undergo isolation. These measures do not apply to traveling personnel of companies having registered offices in Italy.

In Spain there is no quarantine for drivers. Transportation is considered an essential activity, with the aim of maintaining supplies.
Today a decree has come into force which interrupts all productive and economic activity not considered essential.

“The situation in Norway is like that when the driver is at work he is “free” and doesn’t need to go in quarantine. But on his free time, he has to follow the quarantine for 14 days after entering the country. So, work during daytime and quarantine in evening. For drivers going out of the country this is a “never ending” quarantine story. We also have a situation that some small communities have their own quarantine and entering rules. For instance, a person from Oslo is not welcome in many places around in Norway. The Government has tried to stop this situation but since health issues is also maintained locally there is nothing the central Government can do.”

The situation in Hungary is very similar to the Norwegian solution. No quarantine for truck drivers in Greece, France, Austria and Belgium. In Sweden, no quarantine applies for cross-border freight traffic. It continues to roll to / from Finland, Poland, Germany, Denmark and Norway.

In relation to Ireland, early Government guidelines exempt drivers – national and international that operates and stays within on the island of Ireland or across Europe, then he/she is eligible able to continue, without quarantine. However, if they do show signs of symptoms that is a different matter and it is recommended that they should self-isolate.

Regarding the Coronavirus crisis in the Netherlands in general, controlling measures are prolonged until April 28th. Schools will be closed until then as well. School holidays are originally planned end of April, beginning May. Citizens are advised not to book holidays or travel, even within the NL. Government implemented new help for companies to pay their wages. Rule is: the more revenue companies lose in the crisis, the more help they can get to pay employees wages. Authorities strongly advise against everything – no unnecessary travel.