Coronavirus and logistics: Business as usual – for now

Land Transport

Source: RHA, 2020-03-07

Many RHA members are worried about the spread of coronavirus and the impact it could have on the logistics industry.

There’s concern about cross-border trade, the health of staff and business continuity.

Following the government press conference on coronavirus earlier this week, a new web page has subsequently been released, which contains new information and A guide to what you can expect across the UK.

What’s New?

One of the key areas of information for hauliers and other businesses in the UK can be found under the header The role the public can play in supporting this response.

Some of the most relevant points include:
• following public health authorities’ advice, for example on hand washing
• reducing the impact and spread of misinformation by relying on information from trusted sources.
• checking and following the latest FCO travel advice when travelling and planning to travel
• accepting that the advice for managing COVID-19 for most people will be self-isolation at home and simple over the counter medicines
• checking for new advice as the situation changes.

The RHA understands those concerns and in addition to the constantly updated Government and other official sources of information including the mainstream media we have some of our own advice – both general and industry-specific.

Our RHA legal partner Backhouse Jones solicitors believe as an employer in the transport sector, it can be difficult to know what is relevant to you and what to do next.

They have therefore drafted an update which is available here

Staying Safe

The NHS website states that, because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person, although similar viruses are spread in cough droplets, and that it’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.

It also notes that viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

If you are an international haulier you can check the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice and also from the IRU.org.

A comprehensive guide for travellers returning from overseas and experiencing symptoms is available here from the UK Government.

If your staff or drivers have travelled from the current high risk countries – including China and Iran and feel unwell:

• stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
• call NHS 111to inform them of your recent travel to the area

The best advice continues to be the need to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth which can spread the virus and cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.

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