Updates from Government Departments

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The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport (DTTAS) will continue to publish a summary of motorway service area facilities outlining the availability of food, toilet and washing amenities along the national motorway network, as well as operating hours. This information is updated frequently.

Communication on Essential Workers at Every Level in the Supply Chain:

A communication regarding the importance of all workers in the supply chain was published on the DTTAS website under the Guidance for Supply Chain Workers section.  A direct link can be found here. The document highlights that every element of the supply chain is a vital link in ensuring a continuous flow of essential goods during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that where practical, all goods should continue to be distributed to the greatest extent possible. All supply chain workers are considered essential; their important work means people continue to receive necessary food and medical supplies.

International Freight Movements:

Information on European border crossing times is now publically available. This information is based on real time and predictive data.

France is now accepting Annex 3 of the Green Lanes Communication (Template of Certificate for International Transport Workers) instead of the “proof of professional travel” (“autorisation de déplacement professionel”) that was previously required.

To limit delays at the Swiss Border, it is recommended that Customs Clearance is conducted in advance online using the Online Customs Declaration.

EU Drivers’ Hours rules:

DTTAS and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have already secured a temporary relaxation of European Union (EU) driving and resting time rules due to COVID-19. This derogation is valid until 16 April 2020. Authorisation is currently being sought from the EU for an additional temporary derogation beyond this date. More details in due course.

Licences & Certificates:

The RSA has provided for the extension of Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) cards, which are due to expire, for a maximum of six months up to the 26th September 2020.

DTTAS is currently concluding, in consultation with the RSA, a detailed examination of the wide range of issues arising from the necessary suspension of the National Driver Licensing and Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Testing services.  A number of legislative, administrative and technical measures are required to ensure that people are not disadvantaged or penalised as a direct result of the emergency response and further details will be set out in the next few days on these measures.

The EU Commission (see correspondence from the Director-General for Mobility and Transport) clearly recognises that Member States may be unable to comply with certain provisions of EU legislation and exceptional national measures may be required during the crisis period. The EU Commission will be informed of all national measures employed in Ireland; other interested bodies (including enforcement agencies and national authorities) can stay informed of these developments through the Coronavirus Transport Platform, which contains a breakdown of measures adopted in all EU Member States.

Government Financial Supports:

A major new package of Government financial supports has been put in place to support individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19, including:

  1. a)    Information for employees and the self-employed
  2. b)   Information for employers
  3. c)    COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
  4. d)   Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences
  5. e)    Social Welfare COVID-19 Contacts
  6. f)    Latest updates on COVID-19 from theDepartment of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

The quickest and easiest way to apply for any of these resources is at www.mywelfare.ie

Additionally, schemes such as the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme and other enterprise supports such as SME Credit Guarantee SchemeMicroFinance Ireland COVID-19 Business Loan (up to €50k); SBCI Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme; and Enterprise Ireland’s Rescue & Restructuring Scheme are available to further support eligible businesses during these difficult times.