The Australian government has enacted legislation to ensure businesses continue to operate and maintain truck driver lounges and facilities at roadside service centres throughout the Covid-19 situation.
These facilities will be authorised to continue providing services to commercial vehicle drivers in need of food, showers, restrooms and a place to take a break from driving to manage their fatigue under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).
This exemption is subject to the service station, service centre, roadhouse or similar business implementing the following protocol to provide appropriate social distancing and hygiene arrangements for their facilities.
Businesses must provide appropriate signage that clearly states that the truck driver lounge is only open to truck drivers and that social distancing and appropriate hygiene requirements must be followed.
In addition, they must ensure guidelines are strictly adhered to by all employees working in the truck driver lounge based on the Department of Health website.
Drivers must comply with a number of directives including washing or sanitising hands at all appropriate times, but especially before sitting and prior to leaving.
They must also maintain appropriate social distancing and must not remain in the facility for more than one hour, including showering and using the toilet facilities.
Furthermore, if using the shower facilities drivers are required to advise a truck driver lounge employee after showering to allow time for cleaning.
Drivers are also expected to follow all Covid-19 related instructions from employees in the truck driver lounge.
If displaying symptoms of illness such as a fever, cough or sore throat, drivers are instructed to not enter the truck driver lounge and instead seek medical assistance.