Trucking in 2021 – Brexit and COVID, What’s New?

New year, new rules. What more could you ask for?

Jokes aside, things have changed a lot for us over the past year. First, lockdown rules and health & safety regulations, and now with the UK leaving Europe. If you don’t keep yourself up to date, you run the risk of falling behind, incorrectly filling out paperwork, and more. But there’s no need to worry, as we here at Flexistaff are here to help.

Before we move ahead, it’s important to remember several things. First, this list is up-to-date and correct as of the time of publishing. Do not take this list for gospel, and always do your research before heading out onto the road. Second, there are several areas and aspects of travel and work that have not been made clear to the UK and EU citizens. So, once again, we’ll do our best to advise you as of the time of writing, but you must ensure you check before going to Europe. Lastly, with a global pandemic still affecting the world, you must take advice from both the W.H.O. and your doctor.

OK, enough with the niceties, let’s do it!

Wearing Masks.

Whilst in the comfort of your cab, you may not be required to wear a mask (this can depend on your employer. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to check). However, when stopping at petrol stations, making your delivery, or any other interaction with people outside of your cab, you’re going to be required to wear a mask. However, this rule isn’t new for 2021 and should be no surprise to you. It’s important to note that, if your work is taking you across Europe, this rule is also in effect in most, if not all European countries.

This year, you’ll want to ensure your cab is stocked up with masks, due to the fact that disposable masks are supposed to be disposed of (shock! Who knew?) after use. However, even if you have homemade masks or ones purchased from your favourite sporting team (they exist now, go check them out!) they’ll still need washing from time to time. If you’re unable to wash them, the next best thing is to have multiple masks available to ensure you’re covered for several days.

Plus, why not have some fun with it? You’re now able to buy masks that make the lower half of your face look like Joe Exotic’s moustache from Netflix’s Tiger King – a much better alternative to the pale blue disposable ones in our eyes.

Crossing the Border.

Unlike 2020 and before, crossing the border into other countries is likely to become a bit more complicated now, even if it’s for work purposes.

With the UK no longer being part of the EU, largely unrestricted travel no longer exists – at least, not for Brits travelling into Europe, and vice versa. Although we’re unsure at this moment of the exact documentation you’ll need, you’re likely to now need documents to say that you’re travelling to European countries for work, but not to be paid via a native company or pay into their economy. If you were doing these things, a work permit would likely cover you. However, right now, we’re unsure exactly what details and documents you’ll need.

However, looking at the current situation with ports and their handling of parcels travelling to/from the UK, we think it might be some time before the situation becomes clearer.

For those of you that don’t know about this, many parcels and packages are taking longer than usual to cross from the UK into Europe, or vice versa, due to the new laws and regulations. Because the UK left on January first, anything sent before this date was technically eligible to travel without any added restrictions. However, with new documents needed for post and parcels travelling between the two areas, new equipment, checks, and more needed to be added. This is where ports are experiencing issues right now and are experiencing major delays as of right now.

So, if the postal service is experiencing issues like this, you can only imagine the same will apply for trucks and deliveries driven across nations. You’ve only got to look at the news coming out of Dover at the end of the year to see how one small issue can result in several deliveries experiencing issues.

Our advice is to check, check, and check again. Keep in contact with your employer, as well as the relevant people who are expecting deliveries. As things are currently changing rapidly across the EU and UK, and are expected to continue with some disruption across 2021.

Work in General.

Of course, we still find ourselves sat in the middle of a global pandemic – something none of us enjoy. However, this combined with the UK’s exit from the European Union has created a difficult scenario for many businesses. Not all, but many.

Because of this, many people find themselves in difficult situations work-wise. You may find your position over the next few months changing drastically. However, as long as it’s within legal working conditions, and it doesn’t make you miserable, our advice would be to hold on to what you have. For many employees, they’re seeing their employers go bust, close businesses, or cut workers to survive.

So, the moral of this point is this – brace yourself. Many people in the UK are going through a strange transition process right now, and with the pandemic looking to continue throughout a large portion of 2021, things could get tough.

Thanks for reading. For more truck-based blogs, click this link. Or, if you’re looking to earn your Driver CPC qualifications, click here.

Stay safe, and we’ll see you on the road.

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