COVID-19 | Transport keeps us going
24 March 2020
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 a pandemic and governments worldwide have taken wide-ranging measures to contain the spread of the virus.
The transport sector has a crucial role to play in the supply of goods, in particular medicines, medical devices, food and other essential commodities needed to overcome this crisis. The transport sector also proves to be a vital instrument in these times where many European citizens are restricted in their mobility.
European associations representing transport, infrastructure managers, operators, workers in all transport modes and logistics, contractors, local and regional authorities, logistics service providers, shippers, users and equipment suppliers in the maritime, port, inland waterways, railways, road, cycling, aviation and intermodal sectors, as well as supporting industries and companies, jointly endorse the following statement:
- Highlight the key role transport and logistics are playing for the supply of essential goods in this critical period: stress that transport infrastructure is in this respect critical infrastructure;
- Show their respect and support to all workers in the supply chain enabling the continuity of transport services, the movement of goods and essential commodities, as well as the repatriation of stranded citizens, and thus playing a major role in helping the European citizens to overcome this crisis;
- Call on the Member States to enable smooth border crossings for freight transport, both intra-EU and with third countries, in this respect fully support the establishment of green freight lanes in coordination with the concerned transport stakeholders;
- Support the measures and actions taken on EU-level and by national governments to contain the spread of COVID-19 and call on the Members States to coordinate their response to the COVID-19 and to follow the European Commission’s guidelines on border management;
- Reiterate the importance of protecting the health and safety of transport workers, notably through personal protective equipment, as well as access to clean and disinfected sanitary facilities, food and drinks;
- Highlight that the transport and logistics sectors are based on a physical work force and call on the European Commission and the Member States to facilitate its mobility, including repatriation of the transport work force;
- Urge the policy makers to assist the heavily affected transport sector in its recovery, to ensure future connectivity for both passengers and freight, and to revitalise the arteries of the internal market as soon as the crisis is over.
On EU inland waterways, passenger transport is closed, but cargo traffic is not restricted. Waterway authorities follow public measures to contain the spread of the virus, but keep waterway management and operation operational as much as possible to ensure inland waterways can play its full role in providing European citizens, health services and businesses with a consistent flow of goods. Public staff remains active and in stand-by for necessary emergency actions. INE calls on Member States to follow the recommendations of the Commission in order to keep goods flowing during this crisis and to have investments in line with the Green Deal.