In the context of COVID-19, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport have advised of the following information which may be of interest to you and your stakeholders:
SOLAS eCollege courses
SOLAS eCollege courses (www.ecollege.ie) are being made available free of charge as a support to learners who have been impacted by the current containment measures. This is to support those already doing an FET course who would like to augment their learning as well as those who have recently become unemployed or had their hours reduced and who wish to upskill and reskill in digital skills.
Opportunities for Recruitment in the Logistics and Supply Chain Sector
DEASP has noted a demand for more employees in some regions, and their Employer Engagement Team is reaching out to employers for recruitment, including jobs in logistics, distribution and HGV transport. Employer Relations Team contact details can be found here.
Online Recruitment for Employers
DEASP has outlined that there may be an online recruitment day for employers in April.
Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme
Information on the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme is available here. It enables employees whose employers are affected by the pandemic to receive supports directly from their employer. It is available to employers from all sectors (excluding the public service and non-commercial semi-state sector) whose business activities are being adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Short Time Work Support
Short Time Work Support is an income support payment for full-time employees who have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week.
Department of Health COVID-19 Guidance for Supply Chain Workers, including the Freight and Haulage Sector
Department of Health COVID-19 Guidance for Supply Chain Workers is available to download at this link, under the heading Information for Businesses – Guidance for Supply Chain Workers.
This guidance applies to hauliers, maritime workers, pilots and aircrew and all others involved in the maintenance and repair of critical infrastructure to allow freight operations into and out of Ireland to continue, and aims to provide these essential workers with information and guidance as regards their continued work. Importantly, the Guidance makes clear thathauliers are not required to self-restrict their movements on returning to Ireland following a road transport operation abroad and can continue their work (unless they are ill or displaying symptoms of COVID-19). This means that hauliers and other key supply chain staff are exempt from the Government’s advice against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice and the advice that anyone coming into Ireland, other than from Northern Ireland, is required to restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Consular Assistance
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has advised that it is available to support any Irish citizens who may need assistance when overseas. The Department has put in place a new dedicated consular helpline for COVID-19 at +353 (0) 16131733 which is open from 6am-10pm (M-F) and 8am-10pm (weekends). Outside these hours Duty Officers are on call. Irish Embassies are also working to provide assistance to Irish citizens. Further information and queries on consular services and emergencies abroad and contact details for our embassies is available on the Department’s website at: https://www.dfa.ie/travel/
List of essential service providers under new public health guidelines
The government has decided that everyone should stay at home until 12 April 2020, except for those providing essential services. A list of those services and guidance for both employers and employees is available here.
The list of essential service providers includes a category for transport, which includes land transport; road, rail, sea and air freight; sea and air passenger services; ports and airports; and warehousing and support activities for transportation including cargo-handling.
Guidelines for border measures to protect health and keep goods and essential services available
The European Commission published guidelines for EU Member States on health-related border management measures in the context of the COVID-19 emergency. The aim is to protect citizens’ health, ensure the right treatment of people who do have to travel, and make sure essential goods and services remain available. The guidelines include recommendations to facilitate repatriation, preserve the free circulation of essential goods and services and enable the safe movement of transport workers.
Continuous flow of goods across EU via Green Lanes
The European Commission has issued practical advice on how to implement its Guidelines for border management, in order to keep freight moving across the EU during the current pandemic. You can read the Guidelines here.
Enhanced cooperation on transport matters among EU Member States is being achieved through a network of national contact points and a platform to provide information on national transport measures taken by Member States in response to the coronavirus.
Information on European border crossing times is now publically available. This information is based on real time and predictive data.
Temporary relaxation of EU driving and resting time rules due to COVID-19
In view of the potential impact of COVID-19 on HGV operations and the importance of the road haulage sector to the national economy and in response to requests from the haulage industry, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) agreed in mid-March to allow a temporary and urgent derogation in respect of certain provisions of the EU driving and resting time rules. The derogation applies to all operators and drivers subject to the EU drivers’ hours and tachograph rules engaged in the carriage of goods (including oil, etc.). The derogation is in effect from 18 March 2020 until 16 April 2020. Further details of this derogation are available on the RSA’s website at:https://www.rsa.ie/en/RSA/Professional-Drivers/Driving-Safely/Driver-Hours/
Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has confirmed that professional truck and bus drivers, whose Driver CPC is due to expire during the current COVID-19 crisis will be granted an extension of a maximum of six months. Due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 crisis, some professional truck and bus drivers are encountering difficulties in undertaking their annual CPC training. In order to ensure a continuous flow of goods within the EU, drivers with valid Irish Driver CPC cards that are due to expire during the current COVID-19 outbreak will be granted an extension of a maximum of six months up to 26 September 2020.
As the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation continues to evolve, all operators are advised to regularly refer to the appropriate websites including the Health Service Executive (https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (https://www.dfa.ie/travel/).