© Crown copyright 2020
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-freight-transport/covid-19-advice-for-the-freight-transport-industry
The government is advising British nationals against all non-essential international travel.
This exceptional advice has been issued because the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions.
International and domestic freight transport (including by air, ship, road and rail, including roll-on/roll-off transports) is classified by UK government as an essential activity in the context of its travel advice. The advice against non-essential travel is not intended to apply to international and domestic freight transport.
FCO travel advice remains under constant review and is being updated regularly with the latest information on restrictions and other measures in place in each country/territory. Check the latest travel advice and sign up for email alerts for all countries where you are travelling.
Health and safety
For the travel of accompanied goods vehicles between the UK and mainland Europe and Ireland the government is reminding ferry operators of the importance of enabling social distance measures during longer sea crossings in respect of sleeping accommodation, in particular. The government is reminding Eurotunnel in operating its Le Shuttle services of the importance of health and safety responsibilities and enabling social distance measures, both at the UK and French terminals, but also during crossings through the Channel Tunnel.
At the UK-end of journeys, domestic freight providers are also essential services. The government emphasises the health and safety responsibilities of all organisations connected with freight transport organisations running transport terminals, warehouses and distribution centres to provide access to drivers and crew to toilets, washing facilities and sufficient waiting space.
The government also recommends rail freight operators (both those operating services via the Channel Tunnel and also domestic intermodal services from ports) check specific information on cross-European trade and ensure adherence to health and safety responsibilities.
Borders and travel restrictions
Within Europe, border controls have been re-introduced in many locations and substantial restrictions on international travel have been imposed. The position should be checked country by country on the relevant FCO travel advice pages.
International road freight transport is exempt from many but not all of those of restrictions due to it being an essential activity. The position may change at short notice.
Currently certain countries have closed most border points, imposed quarantine periods on incoming UK road freight transport crew or refused entry. Road transport operators should use the Freight Transport Association’s or Road Haulage Association’s international road transport services to check specific information based on cross-European trade information provided to the International Road Transport Union.
Certain countries and ports have implemented restrictions on berthing, disembarking and unloading of vessels. The department recommends maritime freight operators check specific information and guidance on international trade and policies (including information relating to crew, berthing and isolation) at any port, and in any country, they are operating in.
There is advice from Public Health England to travellers in general, for example in relation to insurance, which is part relevant to commercial transport. In relation to insurance for drivers, crew, maintenance and business operations, the provisions now applicable to the particular countries in respect of specific policies need to be checked carefully and confirmed prior to departure.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has published information on the implications of coronavirus on travel insurance and other types of insurance.
Consular support is available to British nationals working overseas in the commercial road transport sector. Read more about the consular support FCO provides.
Latest health advice
See the latest NHS guidance on COVID-19 for the current situation in the UK and abroad.
The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) has also produced general advice on preparing for foreign travel and how everyone can reduce the spread of respiratory viruses.