To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the requirement from 6 April 2021 for truck drivers to take a covid-19 test when they enter the UK, what steps will be taken in the event of a positive result.
26 April 2021
The Department for Transport has been providing COVID testing for hauliers at its network of Information and Advice Sites since January 2021 following the introduction of French government requirement for hauliers to have a negative test result before crossing the border. Since then, over 435,000 hauliers have been tested with a positivity rate of 0.2%.
A weekly summary of testing volumes and the positivity rates can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/haulier-coronavirus-testing.
The introduction of new testing requirements for hauliers in England on 6th April 2021 (requiring all hauliers operating in England for 48 hours or longer to be tested) is designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 in England. Supressing imported cases of COVID-19 will mitigate the risks that Variants of Concern are introduced that may have greater transmissibility or potentially lesser susceptibility to vaccines. This is increasing important as domestic infection prevalence decreases and domestic restrictions are relaxed.
If a haulier tests positive for COVID-19, an additional PCR test is provided to the driver free of charge. If that is positive, they are instructed to self-isolate for ten days in accordance with the Government’s self-isolation regulations. Depending on where the haulier is based, self-isolation can take place at a property of the haulier’s choosing in the UK or in a Government-provided hotel at no cost to the haulier. Anyone travelling or living with the haulier is also required to self-isolate. After the ten days and providing they are free of COVID-19 symptoms, the haulier receives proof to show they have completed the isolation period and are then free to continue their journey.