In response to today’s (22 January 2021) laying of the government’s Statutory Instrument on fines for HGV drivers without COVID-19 tests,  Elizabeth de Jong, Policy Director at Logistics UK said:

“Logistics UK remains extremely concerned that today’s decision to provide Ministers with the means to introduce fines against HGV drivers entering Kent without a negative COVID test will place unfair costs on the individuals working hard to keep the economy stocked with the goods and services it needs.  While we agree that tests should take place outside of Kent to reduce traffic congestion, we need absolute assurance from government that this will only be implemented when inland testing sites around the country have proven capacity to meet the demand for tests.  Capacity must be increased before any change in legislation can be implemented.

“To help prevent testing delays and costs, Logistics UK is calling on government to prioritise the roll out of COVID19 vaccines to HCV drivers and other operational logistics workers to minimise the administrative burden on operators and reduce resulting delays to freight movements.  It is also imperative that international hauliers based in Kent still have access to testing within the county, to prevent unnecessary detours away from the border, and that there is also capacity to test those arriving in Kent without a valid negative test.”

Logistics UK (formerly FTA) is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, including its ground-breaking research into the impacts of COVID-19 on the whole supply chain, please visit logistics.org.uk