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French authorities lift Covid-19 test rule for Irish truckers

French officials had ruled that Irish hauliers would have to present a negative Covid-19 test to enter the country.

Image: Messyasz Nicolas

FRENCH AUTHORITIES HAVE told the Department of Transport that Irish hauliers no longer need proof of a negative Covid-19 test on sea routes from Ireland to France.

The Department said they were informed by the their French counterparts that they had amended legislation with immediate effect to remove the requirement.

The rules came into effect on January 27 and caused difficulties for truck drivers with angry statements at the time from the Irish Road Haulage Association.

Now a Department of Transport statement said that the decision was taken in “light of the very low positivity rates of COVID-19 among commercial vehicle drivers”.

“Proof of a negative test result will still be required for drivers travelling from Great Britain to France or the Netherlands, and therefore any hauliers travelling from Ireland via the UK landbridge route to enter France or the Netherlands must still have proof of a negative test result.

“Proof of a negative test result is also still required for travel to Germany. Drivers intending on travelling on such routes may continue to obtain a test here in Ireland at existing testing facilities (or in Great Britain),” the statement said.

The Department of Transport also said that Ireland, in accordance with EU Green Lane recommendations, will continue to make essential transport workers exempt from quarantine as long as they are not showing Covid-19 symptoms.  

Ireland also allows drivers to enter without going through rigorous testing requirements when entering Ireland.

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“We will continue to encourage all EU Member States to follow this policy also in the interests keeping supply chains open within the Single Market.

“This is particularly important for the continued movement of medical supplies and essential goods into the country,” the statement added.

Since January 28 until Thursday, test provider RocDoc have reported that 5,743 antigen tests have been carried out on drivers, with 14 positive test results – a positivity rate of 0.24%.

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