New DfT guidance for drivers travelling to Europe


The Department for Transport (DfT) is urging commercial drivers and their crews to check before they travel, after several European countries have now introduced Covid-19 testing requirements.

From today (Tuesday, January 19), all hauliers travelling from the UK to the Netherlands by ferry will be required to show evidence of a negative lateral flow test.

The test must be obtained within 24 hours of boarding a service departing for a Dutch port.

DfT says that it is possible to get a free test, as well as information on getting border ready, at one of its 35 information and advice sites across the country.

Drivers can also get an authorised coronavirus test from a private testing facility or employers may have their own arrangements.

Interim testing facilities have been set up at the Hull Port and Humberside Airport to provide additional services for hauliers bound for Hull, Immingham and Killingholme ports.

The DfT is urging drivers to get tested before they arrive at the port to avoid delays.

Inland border facilities (IBFs) are UK government sites where customs and document checks can take place away from port locations. 

The DfT says that drivers will only need to attend an IBF if they are travelling in and out of the UK via the Port of Dover, Eurotunnel or Holyhead and for certain goods movements or documentation. 

You can check whether you need to visit an IBF on GOV.UK

You do not need to visit an IBF if you have a Green Kent Access Permit. 

There are currently long waiting times at Ashford Waterbrook IBF.

Drivers are advised to use alternative sites at Ebbsfleet, North Weald (Essex), Birmingham Airport and Warrington to avoid delays. 

Find your closest IBF on GOV.UK and book your space.  

An HGV driver heading to Kent must have:

  • A negative COVID-19 test for you and your crew up to 72 hours before crossing the border into France.
  • A Kent Access Permit (KAP). Each permit is valid for 24 hours. 

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