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COVID-19 Temporary Relaxation of the Enforcement of the EU and GB Drivers’ Hours Rules

The Department for Transport introduced a temporary and limited urgent relaxation of the enforcement of both the EU and GB drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales on the 23 March 2020.

This was in response to unprecedented pressures on local and national supply chains, due to exceptional circumstances stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak.

These relaxations began on 23 March and were due to end 23:59 on Sunday 31 May 2020.

A specific review of the continuation of the relaxations past 31 May has been conducted.

On the basis of the current evidence, a decision has been made not to continue with the current EU drivers’ hours relaxation, which will end at 23:59 on Sunday 31 May 2020.

On the basis of the current evidence, the GB domestic drivers’ hours relaxations will continue until 23:59 on Sunday 14 June 2020.

Relaxation of GB drivers’ hours rules (expires 14 June 23:59)

The GB drivers’ hours rules can be temporarily relaxed as follows:

  • a) Replacement of the GB duty time limit of 11 hours with 12 hours.
  • b) Replacement of the GB daily driving time limit of 10 hours with 11 hours.

Drivers can only take advantage of this temporary relaxation 5 days in any 7 day period and must take a rest period of 24 hours within the same 7 day period when taking advantage of this relaxation.

Relaxation of EU drivers’ hours rules (expires 31 May 23:59)

The EU drivers’ hours rules can be temporarily relaxed as follows:

  • a) Replacement of the EU daily driving limit of 9 hours with one of 11 hours.
  • b) Reduction of the daily rest requirements from 11 to 9 hours.
  • c) Lifting the weekly (56 hours) and fortnightly driving limits (90 hours) to 60 and 96 hours respectively.
  • d) Postponement of the requirement to start a weekly rest period after six 24 hours periods, for after seven 24 hours period; although 2 regular weekly rest periods or a regular and a reduced weekly rest period will still be required within a fortnight.
  • e) Drivers using the relaxation at b), reducing their daily rest from 11 hours to 9, can still use the derogation allowing them to interrupt their daily rest, by up to one hour, to embark and disembark from a train or a ferry.

Drivers must not use relaxation ‘a’ and ‘d’ at the same time. This is to ensure drivers can get adequate rest.


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