Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer practice for international hauliers

COVID-19 rules for safer behaviour for hauliers making international journeys.

COVID-19 testing for hauliers

Hauliers who enter England from abroad need to take tests if they are in England for longer than 2 days.

Driver and crew in-cab isolation

The driver and crew must isolate in the cab of their vehicle while they are working in England.

You can leave the cab for essential purposes, including to:

  • obtain food
  • take a COVID-19 test
  • seek medical and emergency assistance
  • use wash facilities including using communal showers
  • exercise
  • carry out work, such as deliveries, loading and unloading
  • ensure your vehicle and load are roadworthy
  • finalise customs documentation at a Customs / HMRC inland border facility

You should also leave your vehicle if directed to do so by enforcement officials.

If you qualify as fully vaccinated

If you qualify as fully vaccinated under the rules for travel to England, you do not need to isolate in-cab or quarantine on arrival, although you are encouraged to stay in your cab whilst working to limit your exposure to COVID-19.

Red list rules apply if you have been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England, and you will need to quarantine in a government approved hotel.

Sleeping and breaks

If the cab has appropriate sleeping facilities, you must sleep in the cab. If the cab does not have sleeping facilities, you can stay in a hotel or B&B.

It is still necessary to take a weekly rest break in accordance with the normal limits on drivers’ hours.

If you are a non-UK based haulier you will need to take the full weekly rest break at a COVID-19 secure accommodation, such as a hotel or B&B. Reduced weekly breaks may be taken in the cab or in a COVID-19 secure accommodation. You should undertake your daily break in your cab.

If you are a UK-based haulier, you can take any daily and weekly (full or reduced) rest breaks at home, provided you are not away from home in the course of work. Full weekly rest breaks must not be taken in the cab but are allowed to be taken at home.

As a UK-based haulier, if you continue to work after returning from Europe, you need to isolate in your cab whilst working. You do not need to quarantine at home for 10 days after your journey.

If you are a UK-based haulier and have remained inside of the UK and the CTA you are expected to comply with the national guidelines. You are encouraged to stay in your cab while working, to limit your exposure to COVID-19.

You will be subject to a £1000 fine if you are found to be in breach of these requirements.

What to do if you develop COVID symptoms

No driver or crew should be travelling or working if displaying any coronavirus symptoms. Coronavirus symptoms are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms should get a test.

Entering and exiting the vehicle

Only drivers, crew, and others carrying out essential tasks should be permitted in the cab during the journey.

This includes enforcement and health officials such as police, DVSA, Border Force and other government representatives. Enforcement officials entering the cab will take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including use of appropriate PPE and asking the driver and crew to vacate the cab prior to them entering it.

Additionally, if the vehicle malfunctions, breakdown operators may enter the cab if absolutely necessary. Appropriate precautions should be taken.

Loading and unloading

Drivers and crew should remain in the cab during loading and unloading, wherever possible. If you leave the cab to assist with loading or unloading, all other workers should move at least 2 metres away from the loading area.

Remain 2 metres away from all other people and wear a face covering.

Limit the length of stay

For drivers and crew crossing the border from non-UK originating points to unload and/or load in the UK and then return to a non-UK destination, employers should limit the length of stay in order to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19.

Additional drivers

Dual-manned cabs are permitted. Both drivers should follow this guidance at all times.

Children and other passengers

We encourage only those necessary for the safe operation of the vehicle and load to travel to England. Children and passengers are not covered by the exemptions. If children and other passengers are present at the border they will be subject to the general rules on testing and quarantine.

Children and other passengers are required to undertake testing and isolation requirements.

If you have arrived from a red list country, children and other passengers will be expected to follow the red list rules.

COVID-19 restrictions around the UK

Drivers and crew must follow locally applicable laws at all times while in the UK. Read more about:


As an employer, you have a legal responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to protect workers and others from risks to their health and safety, including from the risks of infection with coronavirus (COVID-19).

In order to reduce the potential spread of new variant COVID-19, and to ensure the safety of your drivers and the public, this guidance sets out the measures to be followed by those transporting accompanied freight into and from continental Europe.

The police may have the power to take enforcement action for breaches of COVID rules, with haulier compliance also being monitored by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this guidance provides exemption from, or varies, the existing requirements in legislation as to drivers’ hours or the use of tachographs.

Published 22 December 2020
Last updated 11 October 2021 + show all updates
  1. Red list updates.

  2. Update to international travel to England rules.

  3. Changes to reflect Step 4 of roadmap out of lockdown.

  4. 'Stay in cab' requirement for international hauliers in England.

  5. Added translations in Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Welsh.

  6. First published.