NEW COVID-RELATED RESTRICTIONS
As the delta variant of the coronavirus spreads throughout Europe, countries are starting to apply restrictions for travellers entering their borders. Contrary to former practises and the European Union’s recommendation, lorry drivers are not being made exempt from covid-related restrictions when entering Romania, Slovenia, Lithuania and Latvia.
The National Committee for Emergency Situations in Romania has updated the list of countries/territories according to the cumulative incidence rate of COVID-19 and included Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands in the red zone, in addition to UK and Cyprus. In the yellow zone Greece and Luxembourg were added, in addition to the Russian Federation. The updated list entered in force on 18.07.2021. Persons arriving in Romania from yellow and red areas - including drivers of goods vehicles and drivers of passenger transport- are subject to a 14-day quarantine. The quarantine must take place at the person's home, at a declared location or, as the case may be, at a dedicated location designated by the authorities. The list of exemptions and further details are available here.
Following concerns among international hauliers about the obligation to test or vaccinate professional drivers before entering the country, Slovenia changed the original starting date of 15 July of the measures to 15 August. Lorry drivers will therefore be able to enter or travel through Slovenia without a test or proof of vaccination until 15 August. Slovenia will no longer apply any exception to mobile workers (even for workers in transit) coming into the country from 15 July. From that date, therefore, it is mandatory for truckers to have a green COVID-19 certification. Anyone who enters Slovenia, regardless of origin or reason, will be required to present a document (e.g. EUDCC) and proof of having been subjected to a swab (PCR 72h, HAG 48h), vaccine or having contracted COVID -19. If these certificates are not available, quarantine is required.
The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania has announced drivers who intend to spend more than 24 hours in the country must bring or carry out a COVID-19 test in Lithuania within 24 hours. Previously, this period was 72 hours. If the person who didn’t intend to stay in Lithuania for 24 hours or longer stays in the country (unless due to objective circumstances, such as customs, border, procedures) and does not have a negative test result, they must apply for and perform a COVID-19 test on a daily basis.
Professional drivers of commercial freight or passenger transport arriving in Latvia via the EU external border with Russia and Belarus must have negative COVID-19 test result or a certificate of full vaccination. Currently, the rules stipulate that drivers entering Latvia must take the test at the nearest available location within 24 hours.