COVID-19: Road Transport Update – 9 June 2020
As we gradually and cautiously start to ‘unlock’ there have been some developments since our last update, a summary of which we provide here.
COVID-19: Quaranting on arrival in England
You can find out more about the quarantine rules for those coming to England here but how do they affect road transport goods and passenger operations?
There are exemptions to the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days and one of these is for “a road haulage worker or a road passenger worker”. Government guidance states that as a worker you will ‘need to show that your travel is part of your job, for example, a letter from your employer, a consignment note or your operator’s licence.’
Workers do still have to complete the Public Health passenger locator form before entering the country – you can do this up to 48 hours before travel.
A road haulage or passenger transport worker is defined as the driver of a goods vehicle used in connection with the carriage of goods – other than goods for non-commercial personal use by the driver or a PSV driver – or a person employed by a Community Licence Holder and who is acting in the course of their employment. A driver includes anyone who is travelling in a vehicle as a relief driver. (This rule would appear to exclude drivers returning to England to resume their employment after any stay outside the Common Travel Area who will seemingly have to self-isolate)
Driver Qualification Cards (“DQC”) that expire from 1 February to 31 August 2020 have been extended by seven months, e.g. a DQC with an expiry date of 1 June 2020 is valid until 1 January 2021.
DVSA enforcement: there will now be action taken against DQCs that expire from 1 September to 30 September 2020 on the basis that there is sufficient training available to renew. In effect, drivers must not drive without a valid DQC from September 2020.
N.B. The seven-month extension is recognised in all EU countries.
Photocard Driving Licence Extension
Drivers who have a photocard expiring between 1 February and 31 August 2020 are granted a seven-month extension. This was announced on 4 June. Again, this applies throughout the EU.
N.B. This only applies to the photocard – not the driving entitlement. If the driving entitlement is due to expire, the licence has to be renewed as usual.
Drivers’ Hours Rules
The general relaxation of EU and GB Hours Rules started on 23 March 2020. However, the EU Drivers’ Hours Rules relaxation ended on 31 May 2020 and has not been extended.
The relaxation on GB Domestic Drivers’ Hours Rules continues until the end of Sunday 14 June 2020, though. This permits an extended duty time of 12 hours (from 11 hours) and a daily driving limited of 11 hours (from 10 hours). The Department for Transport advises that the relaxations should only properly be used for the carriage of essential goods.
Furloughed Drivers / Mobile Working Time
The DfT has introduced guidance for the recording of activities when furloughed and some highlights are to be found below:
- Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations: furlough time is excluded from the calculation of the average maximum working week but if a worker works for another employer whilst furloughed, this has to be included. Training whilst furloughed is not working time. Statutory leave, even if taken when furloughed, has to be recorded. Leave over and above statutory leave does not count.
- Driver Card / Vehicle Unit Downloads: driver card downloads sometimes cannot take place due to COVID-19 problems. A record has to be kept to provide to DVSA if required. Drivers must download their card on returning to driving. Operators still need to download vehicle units within 90 days but again, make a record if this, if it is not possible due to COVID-19 problems.
We Can Help You
We will continue to update you about developments as they arise.
Alternatively, if you or your business require advice or need assistance for any road transport matters, please get in touch with our specialist Road Transport team through this website or by calling 0330 404 0778.
This information is correct at 10am on 9 June 2020.
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