Testing professional drivers for COVID-19

By | 24 February 2021

Italy is fed up with funding for COVID-19 tests that professional drivers must pass before entering Austria, as a result of the decision of the German authorities (we wrote about the case here). From 23.02 each test carried out in the Sadobre car park in Vipiteno will cost € 40. The test center is open daily from 7:00 to 22:00.


Complaints about traffic restriction

Despite complaints about the decision of the German authorities regarding the testing of road transport workers, which come from all possible institutions, including associations of carriers, drivers, local and main authorities of countries and provinces and are addressed to the EU authorities, Germany has not abolished its requirements for testing professional drivers. The Italian media thunders about the huge negative impact of these restrictions not only on the economy of Italy but also on the economies of other countries. An additional argument is the fact that the percentage of drivers with a positive result is so small that it is negligible in the overall assessment of the probability of infecting others during the normal performance of official duties.

It raises the life-threatening conditions in which drivers have to wait for the test, long lines at the borders and the general confusion related to the restriction of the free movement of goods. Losses of transport companies are counted in millions.


What’s next for driver testing?

So far, the European Commission has accused six EU countries, including Germany and Belgium, of violating the rules on the restriction of freight traffic at the borders. According to the Commission, these countries’ measures to protect against COVID-19 are contrary to the principles of freedom of movement of people and goods. All six countries have now received warning letters to which they must respond within 10 days. We will see what (knowing the history of the Commission’s efforts to date – if at all) what effect this will have.