Russian border2

Hungary has eased restrictions on road freight traffic entering the country in a bid to reduce congestion at its borders.

Huge bottlenecks appeared late last week after the government’s new requirement that all freight drivers entering the country had to tested for coronavirus, with all Hungarian drivers required to go into 14-day quarantine whether they exhibited symptoms or not – those testing positive had to go into state-managed quarantine.

However, the Hungarian road transport association MKFE said yesterday: “The official quarantine for Hungarian truck drivers not showing symptoms, if the destination is Hungary, is no longer applicable.

“This should help reduce the bottlenecks observed at the border crossing points on Friday.”

And truck queues at the Austria-Hungary and Hungary-Romania borders were considerably shorter today: virtually gone at the former (up to up to 18km on Friday) and down to 4km-6km (from 19km) at the latter, according to real-time shipment visibility platform Sixfold, which has built a border waiting time map of Europe.

The relaxation of Hungary’s restrictions came as EU heads of state reiterated their support for the implementation of freight green lanes at Europe’s internal borders.

At its eternal borders, however, a new supply chain threat may be looming: Russia appears set to close its borders to all traffic.

The Moscow Times today reports that the country “will close its borders starting 30 March, in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus”, according to a government order published on Saturday.

“The measure will come into force at all vehicle, rail and pedestrian checkpoints, and apply to Russia’s maritime borders,” the report adds.

However, it appears cross-border freight in trucks may be exempt from the restrictions, Russian road transport association ASMAP said today.

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