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To help deal with the unprecedented consequences of the outbreak of COVID-19 on the road haulage sector, the Department for Transport introduced a temporary and limited urgent relaxation of the enforcement of both the EU and GB drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales 23 March 2020.
Both of these relaxations have now ended.
Future drivers’ hours relaxations
The drivers’ hours rules are in place to protect road safety and the working conditions of drivers and to reduce the risk of drivers being involved in fatigue-related accidents.
The department wishes to emphasise that, as a general rule, we expect business to plan for and manage the risks of disruption to supply chains. Any relaxation of the drivers’ hours rules is usually a last resort when other means of mitigating a situation have failed. Therefore, industry must continue to put contingency plans in place to deal with the consequences of coronavirus (COVID-19).
If the situation does become unmanageable during the recovery phase and industry believe a relaxation of the drivers’ hours rules would help alleviate the pressure, then further relaxation requests will be considered on a case by case basis.
The department has issued detailed guidance on the drivers’ hours rules and how to deal with emergency and urgent situations - particularly when and how to request a temporary relaxation of the rules.
15 June 2020 Department for Transport