The UK will grant 10,500 visas to truck drivers, farmers as petrol scarcity bites harder

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UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says the visa scheme would ease the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s haulage and food industry.

Petrol queues have persisted in the UK (Daily Advent)

The United Kingdom (UK) is willing to grant 10,500 short-term work visas to foreign truck drivers and poultry workers until Christmas of 2021 at least.

Long queues have persisted at petrol stations across the UK for days now, due to a shortage of truck drivers to dispense the product at the pumps.

A combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, inability to train new truck drivers due to COVID-19 restrictions, Brexit, and low wages offered to truck drivers across Europe, has exacerbated petrol supply chain challenges in the UK; and panic buying has persisted for days on end.

According to a statement from the Department for Transport in the UK, 5,000 heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers are needed to come to work in the UK for 3 months in the run-up to Christmas, in order to provide “short-term relief for the haulage industry.”

Some 5,500 poultry workers will also be added to the visa scheme to “avoid any potential further pressures on the food industry during this exceptional period.”

The UK government says recruitment for additional short-term truck drivers and poultry workers will begin in October, with visas valid until Christmas eve.

Army drivers have been put on standby to ameliorate the crisis in the UK.

There is also a shortage of truck drivers to dispense petrol and food across Europe.

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