Numerous truck drivers in Great Britain are in Corona quarantine, and Brexit is also making it difficult for the industry. This is becoming a problem for farmers – and also for consumers.
The continuing shortage of truck drivers in the UK poses problems for UK farmers. The shortage is a significant problem for the industry, said the Vice President of the National Farmers Union, Tom Bradshaw, of the dpa. “We hear of shipments that have to be canceled or postponed, which means that high quality British fruit, salads, milk and other products may have to be destroyed.”
In the past few days, pictures of empty supermarket shelves have been making the rounds on social networks and in the British media, as a number of branches have not been able to replenish their stocks as usual.
Many truck drivers in quarantine
In the past few weeks, many truck drivers had failed because they had to go into quarantine as contacts with corona infected people or even sick people. Rod McKenzie of the RHA freight forwarding association complained that the quarantine rules were now “a recipe for chaos”.
But the new visa rules that have been in place since Brexit are also causing problems for the industry, on which many others depend. “This is becoming an increasingly pressing problem and something has to be done,” said Bradshaw. For example, the driving tests for truck drivers should be accelerated or previous drivers should be encouraged to take up the job again.
“Have to close a shop or two”
Not only is there a shortage of truck drivers, but also in stores and other companies along the supply chain. “We kept our stores open throughout the pandemic, but now we need to close one or two stores and reduce opening times in others,” said Icelandic frozen food manager Richard Walker, told the BBC last week.
Due to the high number of employees in quarantine in the grocery store, the British government introduced short-term exemptions on Friday. Employees in food distribution centers are now exempt from the obligation to self-isolate and must instead carry out regular corona tests. On July 19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had almost all corona rules lifted in England, and the number of new infections has recently risen sharply.
Many EU citizens who worked in the service industry before Brexit have left the country in recent years, and the pandemic has accelerated this trend. Today it is complicated and expensive to get a work visa in the country as an EU citizen.