Lorry drivers who test Covid-19 positive to isolate at hotel before completing journeys
- Credit: BEST WESTERN
Lorry drivers who test positive for Covid-19 will be able to isolate at The Cambridge Bar Hill hotel before completing their journeys.
It is part of a Department for Transport scheme that will see hotels used for mainly non-UK based drivers to complete their isolation period - this includes a room, food, drink, toiletries, television, and Wi-Fi.
The drivers are given information about their responsibilities upon arrival and will be required to isolate in their rooms.
Additional support is also being made available for drivers who don’t speak English as a first language.
This includes good processes for lorry drivers, local councils and hotel staff to keep in touch, providing things they need in their rooms and to ensure this can be done whilst maintaining social distancing.
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Staff with correct PPE will be on hand to provide assistance and a specific outdoor area has been made available for the drivers to get fresh air without needing to come into contact with anyone else.
The Cambridge Bar Hill Hotel – has been designated due to its proximity to the A14 and the road’s links to ports and the M11.
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In most cases, the lorry cab, excluding the trailer, is the only part of the HGV being parked within the hotel grounds.
South Cambridgeshire District Council Environmental Health Officers have worked with the hotel management team to ensure staff and people needing to isolate are kept safe.
The number of vehicles on site will be managed, no lorry cabs will be parked in the village itself and no guests are staying at the hotel apart from the lorry drivers.
Environmental Health officers are working to assist with the implementation of Covid-secure measures for hotel staff and visitors throughout the building, grounds and car park.
Bar Hill Parish Council and their Covid-19 volunteers are also on hand to support the drivers if needed via its existing network of Coronavirus assistance schemes.
Anyone failing to comply with an official instruction to self-isolate, including lorry drivers at the Cambridge Bar Hill Hotel, can be fined.
These start at £1,000 and rise to £10,000 for repeat offenders or serious breaches. The police are aware of the hotel being used for this purpose and will be available if required.
As required by the French Government, all lorry drivers travelling to France need to have proof of a negative Covid-19 test.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has set up information and advice sites across Britain where drivers can be tested before making their way to France.
Cllr Bunty Waters, chairman of Bar Hill Parish Council and district councillor for Bar Hill, said: “The community in Bar Hill have come together and worked hard to support one another during this terrible pandemic.
"We have had lots of issues with lorries parking in Bar Hill over the years, so I am reassured the Councils are tackling the parking of cabs as a priority and cabs and trailers will not be parked in the village.
"Bar Hill Parish Council and the Covid-19 support scheme will continue to work with the other councils to see what other support might be needed. We want to ensure there is not a need for people to leave the hotel.”
Cllr Lynda Harford, local county councillor for Bar Hill, said: “The county council has worked with partners including the district council, emergency planning teams and public health to provide support for these drivers who find themselves in an unenviable position.
"I’d like to reassure residents of Bar Hill that the appropriate public health and safety protocols are in place and strict COVID-19 rules are being followed to protect everyone and I will continue to monitor the situation.
"We will continue to work very closely with the hotel and the district council to ensure the parking of lorry cabs and any trailers is well managed and done safely.
"DfT are very aware that lorries should not park anywhere in the village and this must not be allowed to happen.”
Cllr Bridget Smith, leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Given the A14’s wider importance as part of the country’s strategic road network, it makes sense to have a Covid-secure stopping point for hauliers that do test positive for Coronavirus to complete their self-isolation.
"These drivers are performing a vital role in ferrying supplies to and from the UK and they are a long way from home. They have nowhere else that is safe to go so they do need our support in order to isolate safely and then be able to carry on with their important jobs and get back to seeing their families.
"We’re working closely with the County Council and Bar Hill Parish Council to do all we can to support the hauliers and provide them with everything they need within the hotel grounds, helping keep them and the wider community safe.”