07 Oct 2022

New Covid-19 test rule comes into force for some delivery drivers today

New Covid-19 test rule comes into force for some delivery drivers today

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Testing requirements for hauliers travelling from Ireland to France – where they must have evidence of a negative COVID-19 test – have been introduced from today, Thursday, January 28, following a decision by the French Government. 

The Department has been advised by the French authorities that this will apply to drivers travelling on any ferry setting sail from Ireland to France after 11pm (Irish time) on Wednesday.

All commercial vehicle drivers (Heavy Goods Vehicle drivers, Lights Goods Vehicle drivers or Coach drivers) travelling from Ireland to France must have evidence of a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test to carry out their journey. Proof of a negative test result will be required to board ferries and to enter France.

The Department of Transport, in conjunction with Wexford County Council, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Dublin Airport Authority, has established State-supported antigen testing facilities so that these unprecedented requirements can be met and hauliers can be tested before they travel. 

Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD said: “Hauliers and the overall transport and logistics sector have worked tirelessly to ensure the continued movement of essential supply chains over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and against the challenge of Brexit.

"I am now encouraging all hauliers to familiarise themselves with new testing requirements that are coming into effect for travel to France. To meet these new requirements, we have established state-supported testing facilities near Dublin and Rosslare ports to ensure hauliers can be tested in advance of travel.

"Hauliers should be aware that if they do not present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result, they will be denied boarding a ferry to France. It is important to factor in these additional requirements to avoid any unnecessary disruption.”

Minister of State with special responsibility for International Road Transport and Logistics at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD, said:

“I am urging all hauliers who are travelling to France to allow adequate time for pre-departure COVID-19 tests to take place. Pre-booking an early COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure will allow flexibility in the unfortunate event that a driver receives a positive result and will also prevent any unnecessary delays at testing centres.”

Free COVID-19 antigen tests for commercial drivers will be made available at dedicated testing facilities near the ports of Dublin and Rosslare. Tests will only be provided to hauliers who are travelling to France or other countries where a negative COVID-19 test is required for entry.

There will initially be two dedicated testing sites for hauliers intending to travel from Dublin and Rosslare ports to France, which will open from Thursday morning (January 28):

Dublin Airport’s Blue Long Stay Car Park, signposted from M1 Junction 2 (Airport) and M50 Junction 4 (Ballymun)
Gorey (Circle K) Motorway Service Area, Wexford, accessible from the M11

The Department is continuing to work with Wexford County Council on an additional site for Rosslare bound traffic, located at Holmestown. It is intended that this site will open for testing over the coming days.

The testing facilities will be reviewed on a daily basis to ensure alignment between demand and provision of the service. Hours of operation at the sites will be based around ferry sailing times to France and will be subject to review based on demand.  The testing facilities can be availed of by all commercial drivers who are departing on ferry sailings from Ireland to France including hauliers from Northern Ireland.

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