Germany’s covid-pass rules present complications for truckers with Sputnik jab

Land Transport

Source: trans.info, 2021-11-29

Germany's covid-pass requirements, which oblige lorry drivers vaccinated with Sputnik to be tested, creates increasing challenges at loading places, reports German national paper Die Welt.

Germany introduced mandatory covid pass requirements at workplaces on 24 November. The measures require employees to provide proof that they are vaccinated against Covid-19, have recovered from the disease, or tested negative.

The covid pass requirement also applies to lorry drivers who drive to different places of loading and unloading in Germany.

However, many Eastern European Heavy Goods Vehicle drivers are vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik vaccine, which is approved neither by Germany nor by the European Union. As a consequence, these drivers need to carry out tests to be able to enter depots. Within the EU, some may have received the shot in Hungary, while truckers from non-EU nations in the region, including Serbia and Belarus, may also have been vaccinated with the Sputnik jab.

Unfortunately, not all depots have their own testing places. That means drivers need to visit a testing centre in a nearby town, which is not only difficult to carry out when driving a 40-ton lorry, but also because drivers need to arrive at these testing places during office hours, which is not always possible.

Although bigger depots and warehouses have already installed their own testing place, and the red cross offers online courses for companies to be able to establish such a service, these test results cannot be accepted by other loading places.

Dirk Engelhardt, Head of the Federal Association of Freight Transport, Logistics and Disposal (BGL,) has pushed the government to regulate this situation by amending labour law. He wishes to see a change stating that a test certificate provided by trained employers at one workplace should enable drivers to access another loading ramp, too.

“If an entrepreneur is trained in this and can prove this with a certificate, a test by the driver with the document should also be universally recognised,” told Engelhardt to Die Welt.

The national paper added that some companies are even stricter than the mandatory measures call for. An unnamed food retailer has been accused of only accepting delivery drivers who are either vaccinated or recovered from covid and simply doesn’t bother with tests.


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