Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced the temporary relaxation of drivers’ hours for hauliers to help drivers get through UK borders safely, including via Kent, during the coming weeks. The rules came into force from midnight on 22 December and will apply until 11:59pm on 22 January 2021, subject to review.



The relaxation means:

  • the EU daily driving limit will be extended from nine hours to 11;
  • the daily rest requirements will be reduced from 11 to nine hours;
  • the weekly (56 hours) and fortnightly driving limits (90 hours) will increase to 60 and 96 hours respectively;
  • the requirement to start a weekly rest period after six 24-hours periods will be changed to after seven 24-hours periods; and
  • drivers of lorries within the Operation Brock queue or other queues in the Kent Traffic Management system can relax the break requirements to take two or three breaks of at least 15 minutes, which together are at least 45 minutes (within a 4.5 hours period).

For details on how to use the relaxation, see GOV.UK for full details.

This guidance emphasises that drivers should not use more than one relaxation at the same time as another in order to protect their welfare.

It also specifies that the relaxation applies to drivers involved in the international carriage of goods by road and between Great Britain and Northern Ireland where necessary. Otherwise, the normal drivers’ hours rules are to be followed.