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Germany’s ban on travel across some of its borders could lead to congestion similar to that seen at Dover before Christmas, when France shut down its border with the UK, according to the International Road Transport Union (IRU).

Germany closed its borders with the Czech Republic and the Tyrol region of Austria on Friday, after categorising them as “mutation areas”.

Tyrol and the Czech Republic have also imposed similar measures in the opposite direction.

While trade is still permitted to cross, a new requirement for antigen tests for all truck drivers effectively shuts down “green lane” arrangements, whereby freight vehicles are not subject to checks that take more than 15 minutes.

Border restrictions in Europe

According to the IRU, the requirement that tests are conducted by authorised laboratories is difficult for transport workers travelling outside of their home country to fulfil.

Umberto de Pretto, general secretary of the IRU, said: “Germany, Tyrol and the Czech Republic must reintroduce test exemptions for professional truck drivers immediately, otherwise their actions will damage vital supply chains, the single market and the lives of millions of EU citizens – at a huge cost and without any material benefit to controlling the virus.”

The IRU stated that around 7,000 trucks move along the north-south corridor through Tyrol every day, which is a comparable number to the Dover-Calais crossing.

Source: The Loadstar, BBC News

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