IRU, the world road transport organisation, has written to German Chancellor Angela Merkel today on the chaos spreading across Europe’s goods transport network due to her government’s new border restrictions on truck drivers.
Germany’s refusal to exempt professional truck drivers from mandatory COVID-19 testing breaks its previous commitments on EU “green lanes” and the free movement of goods, and moreover does not help curb the virus.
With other countries and regions copying Germany’s restrictions to prevent thousands of drivers being stuck on their own territory, a chain reaction is building across Europe, bringing supply chains to a halt.
“Truck drivers, alone in their cabin and working to strict hygiene measures, pose little risk to the spread of the virus,” said IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto. “Making them queue for hours in sub-zero temperatures at makeshift test centres on the side of the road without proper physical distance control however is not only pointless, it is dangerous.”
Germany’s unilateral decision is blocking the free movement of goods, affecting supply chains across the EU. Supermarkets, hospitals and factories will soon see supply issues across Europe and beyond.
“Germany was long an anchor for free trade across Europe’s single market. We implore Chancellor Merkel to recognise the damage that her government’s decision is now causing, especially to her neighbouring countries, and to immediately exempt truck drivers from mandatory COVID-19 testing so they can do their job and keep supply chains moving.” added Umberto de Pretto.
“Germany’s place should once again be at the heart of a Europe that is united in fighting the pandemic, not causing chaos with short sighted and pointless border restrictions,” he concluded.