More must be done to support business sustainability – FTAI

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“It is very encouraging to see the continuing reduction in the number of people infected by COVID-19 in Ireland. The improvement is in no small part down to the Irish people and their commitment to adhering to the guidance and advice around ‘Staying at Home’. Time is a healer, they say, but time is currently the key ingredient in the survivability or not for many thousands of Irish businesses across all sectors. Let’s look and see how the healing is going.

The longer we are in this constrained environment the more likely it is that many businesses will fail. Getting back to work is massively important for the economy. It is understandable that a cautious approach needs to be taken to mitigate the risk of a second wave of the virus. However, a pragmatic approach based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and other countries experience needs to be analysed to enable Ireland to be more flexible in its approach towards reducing restrictions quicker,” according to Aidan Flynn, General Manager, Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI).

“It will be up us (business) to develop our risk mitigation measures, implement the control measures, carry out training and inductions and review compliance on an ongoing basis. We must demonstrate that we are committed to this new way of business life and develop trust that facilitates more freedoms on a sustained basis. This also means that we need to expect the same standards from all contractors and business we are engaged with. It requires leadership and commitment to affect our behaviour that will result in more certainty and security that we can indeed stay open,” he said.

Last week the re-opening of Commercial Vehicle Testing Centres (CVRT) on a limited basis commenced (only for vehicles with test date expiry pre 28th of March 2020). The FTA Ireland has written to the relative Authorities to request the opening of CVRT centres to all vehicles that had a certificate due date in April to be completed commencing 1st of June 2020. In normal circumstances operators can get their commercial vehicle tested one months in advance of the due date. “We want this option to apply to all vehicles that had the certification extended by three months due to COVID-19. We are waiting on clarification of this from the Authorities. This is an example of how much flexibility is required. These test centres can only be a viable going concern if they have enough vehicles to test. There is no point being open otherwise. If they cannot get vehicles in for testing in June a lot of these businesses will struggle to keep on their staff and survive. All the safety measures and precautions are in place, so they need to ramp up their activity now,” stressed Aidan.

Passenger Locator Form for people entering the country:

The Minister for Health Simon Harris TD has confirmed it will be obligatory for passengers arriving from overseas (into Ireland) to complete a COVID-19 Public Health Passenger Locator Form. https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/d09ad0-minister-for-health-confirms-new-travel-measures-in-light-of-covid-1/

The regulations will come into effect from Thursday 28 May. They will remain in effect until 18 June 2020, to when they will be reviewed.

Requirement to complete this form

  • Passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are required to complete this form, including Irish citizens.
  • Once completed, the form should be given to an officer at your point of entry to the State.

Exemptions

  • Passengers arriving in 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.