A European Council (EC) decision made at the beginning of February could see European transport workers and service providers become exempt from Covid-19 testing and quarantine regulations, according to ESTA.

The recommendation and amendments, aimed at minimising disruption to trade, noted: “Transport workers and transport service providers should in principle not be required to undergo a test for Covid-19 infection. If, however, a member state really wishes to require testing, rapid antigen tests (and not PCR) should be used, and this should not lead to transport disruptions.

“Should transport or supply chain disruptions occur, member states should lift or repeal any such systematic testing requirements immediately in order to preserve the functioning of the Green Lanes [border crossings open to all freight vehicles carrying goods where any checks or health screenings should take no more than 15 minutes]. Moreover, the recommendation prescribes that transport workers and transport service providers should not be required to undergo quarantine while exercising this essential function.”

ESTA explained that, although the document is non-binding, lobbyists and experts believe it has great value because the EU member state governments adopted it unanimously.