On 30 March 2020, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and the National Cabinet approved an exemption for roadhouses, dedicated truck stop facilities and truck driver lounges to remain open so Australia’s heavy vehicle drivers have access to showers, restrooms and facilities to undertake their mandated fatigue management breaks.
Due to recent COVID-19 restrictions that apply to roadside eateries, truck driver lounges and rest stops have closed, leaving truck drivers with nowhere to eat, rest and go to the bathroom.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the trucking sector is playing a critical role in Australia’s response to COVID-19.
“Our truck drivers are transporting everything from supermarket supplies and fuel to vital medical equipment and medicine to where it is needed across Australia,” Mr McCormack said.
“Roadside service stations, roadhouses and truck driver lounges provide a vital function allowing truck drivers to eat, shower, use restrooms, refuel and rest comfortably before resuming their work – which is critical for them to continue efficient and safe freight distribution across the country.”
The exemptions will only apply to facilities where appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures can be maintained and the use of roadhouses will be strictly limited to heavy vehicle drivers.