Update: Impact on freight and passenger transport of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Updated on 2 May

Update: Impact on freight and passenger transport of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Updated on 2 May

In a current letter the International Road Transport Union provides consolidated information about national / international passenger and freight traffic. The following information is available for Germany:

Germany

Restrictions

As of 16 March, 08:00, Germany has been re-introducing temporary border controls at the borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxemburg and Denmark. Access at these borders must be performed via dedicated border crossings. For a full list of these border crossings please refer to this link. The following groups of persons may continue to enter German territory via the borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxemburg and Denmark:

  • persons with German nationality.
  • persons with a German residence permit.
  • persons with residence in Germany.
  • professional commuters, regardless of their nationality
  • proof of commuting status should be carried (template for a commuter certificate here). Seasonal workers, EU parliamentarians and accredited diplomats may also enter the country.
  • persons who have urgent reasons for entry
  • proof of urgent reasons should be carried. The Federal Police make individual decisions at their discretion.

In addition to the above, and most relevant for our profession: Cross border movement of goods remains guaranteed.

BGL is not aware of any cases where cross border goods transports have been refused entry into Germany via the above mentioned borders. The following groups of persons will be refused entry onto German territory via the borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxemburg and Denmark:

  • persons who do not belong to any of the above mentioned groups allowed to enter German territory.
  • persons who show symptoms of illness
  • in these cases, the competent health authority will be consulted immediately.

More information is available here and here.

Situation in rest and service areas on German motorways:

In rest and service areas operated by the TANK & RAST group, use of the SANIFAIR sanitary facilities free of charge since 17.03.2020, with the objective of ensuring drivers’ access to crucial hand hygiene. Free access to the SANIFAIR sanitary facilities is granted via the “children’s entry” and will be explicitly signposted. TANK & RAST group is operating 330 of the rest and service areas on German motorways and drivers should look for the TANK & RAST symbol.

TANK & RAST have also announced that they will keep open not only the petrol stations but also the attached shops (bakery products, snacks, retail) at all rest and service areas operated by them. They also inform that they extended their range of warm takeaway food in order to best suit the drivers’ needs.

In case of any problems with the TANK & RAST service, drivers are invited to call a special, free of charge hotline: 0800 9 555 777 (available from the German networks) or by sending an email to kundenservice@tank.rast.de

BGL is in contact with all remaining providers of motorway rest and service areas to ensure ongoing services and access to sanitary facilities with suitable opening times for all German rest and service areas on motorways. This subject is also being discussed with the Ministry of Transport on the highest political level.

On 8 April, the German Federal Ministry of Health issued a regulation banning travellers from entering
Germany without a valid reason. The following content replaces the Orders issued by the same
Ministry of 2 April.
People entering Germany must proceed directly to their home or to a suitable accommodation and
isolate themselves for a period of 14 days after the entry into the country. They are also required to
contact their competent public health office without delay and inform them of their entry into the
country. People must provide the local health authority with the following information: identity and date
of birth, travel itinerary, contact data, address of the domicile.
Derogations to this rule may be applied by regulations issued by federal states and only concern
people that show no symptoms of COVID-19 infection.
Bus companies and tour operators doing cross-border transport to Germany must comply, within the
framework of their operational and technical capabilities, with the following provisions:

  • Provide travellers with a barrier-free version of the information on the risks posed by COVID-19 infection and the possibilities for preventing and combating it.
  • Keep the data available for up to 30 days after arrival in Germany. This applies in particular to electronically stored data which enable passengers to be identified and located, as well as to passenger lists and seating plans.

There are no restrictions on the cross-border movement of goods, regardless of the nationality of the
drivers.

Measures applying to drivers: Health equipment

All German Federal States have introduced legislation making the use of facial masks mandatory in
order to prevent further spreading of the COVID-19 virus. However, due to the federal structure of
Germany, there is no unique nationwide provision defining the exact circumstances in which a mask
must be worn. Therefore, to ensure that legal requirements are definitively fulfilled, BGL recommends
that drivers wear a facial mask whenever leaving the vehicle’s cabin.

Faciliation measures

German control authority BAG is publishing a list of German COVID-19 derogations concerning road
transport under BAG link. On this page, please click the link called “Straßengüterverkehrsrechtliche
Ausnahmen aufgrund Covid-19” in order to open the PDF list’s most up-to-date version. Most relevant
content:

Germany decided, at Federal level, on a temporary relaxation of driving and rest times rules based
on Article 14.2 of the EU Regulation 561⁄2006. The German Federal Administration has temporarily
relaxed driving and rest times rules with a prolongation until 31 May. The measure applies to road
transport of goods of daily necessities, including food, medical equipment and fuel.
Measures lifted are as follows:

  • Possibility to extend driving time to 10 hours five times per week
  • Possibility to take two consecutive reduced weekly rests within a period of four weeks

These measures apply to professional and privately owned transportation companies. For details, please use the above BAG link. Click the link called “Straßengüterverkehrsrechtliche Ausnahme
aufgrund Covid-19” and consult the resulting PDF document’s section 1 called “Fahrpersonalrecht”.

The Federal Government of Germany has asked the Länder to suspend the weekend and holiday
traffic bans of truck movements to ease the situation during the crisis. The German control authority
BAG is providing an up-to-date overview of the situation in the different regions under the above BAG
link
. Click the link called “Straßengüterverkehrsrechtliche Ausnahmen aufgrund Covid-19” and consult
the resulting PDF document’s section 4. “Straßenverkehrsrecht – Sonn- und Feiertagsfahrverbote”.

Sources: BGL (from Federal Government), German Minister of Internal Affairs, BAG, DSLV, and EC
(DG MOVE)

For more information on the effects of the corona virus on road freight transport in other countries, see the following PDF document:

Impact on freight and passenger transport of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Updated on 02 May (18:10)