Simon Lappert (47), truck driver from Mühledorf SO, travels three times a week from different regions in Switzerland to Paris and back again to transport quartz sand. «In the current corona crisis, our work is delayed enormously, as we sometimes have to wait up to 15 hours at customs. We have to stay there too, »he says.
The problem with this: At the Swiss-French border in Basel-St. According to Lappert, Louis has now closed the toilets and showers because of Corona.
Spend the night without a toilet
The toilets are locked with barrier tapes. «Me and around 400 other truck drivers had to wait almost 15 hours at customs at Thursday, which only opens at 7 a.m., without a toilet or shower. We are being harassed. » Some should have relieved themselves in the parking lot, he says. “Where else should you go if you have to spend the night as a chauffeur at customs and no toilet is open?”
Since he had to go through his delivery program, he could not take any detours to find a shower. «I also have my basic needs. I’ve been doing this for 25 years now, and I’ve never seen conditions like this before. » He is upset that many would complain about home office during these times. «But, in contrast, we chauffeurs cannot even cook anything, buy a sandwich or have the most necessary things like a toilet or a shower. We truck drivers are actually utilities that are not supplied. »
Long lines at check-in
In addition, one had to wait a long time at the French-speaking customs to receive the clearance documents. In a video, Lappert shows that long lines form. Social distancing is not always adhered to.
Two toi-toi toilets supplied
Upon request, the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) emphasized that “the Basel St. Louis Autobahn customs office is a community customs facility and is located entirely on French territory”. Accordingly, the French government is responsible for this customs facility, also in terms of infrastructure and opening hours, says spokesman Matthias Simmen.
He emphasized that the FCA strictly implemented the requirements of the Federal Office of Public Health in its area of competence. “The EZV also appeals to the chauffeurs to take personal responsibility in the area of social distancing.” Simmen also refers to various Activitieswhich were taken to handle the goods traffic efficiently.
Despite the lack of responsibility, the Swiss authorities are now helping. “As an immediate measure, the procurement of two mobile Toi-Toi toilets is triggered for the Basel St. Louis Autobahn customs office, the delivery of which is currently underway,” says Simmen. Here the FCA is also in contact with the French partners. An inquiry to the French customs authorities remained unanswered on Thursday.
«Needs open and clean toilets»
The Swiss utility vehicle association Astag knows the problem. “We get a lot of angry feedback from members and chauffeurs,” says André Kirchhofer, Vice Director of Astag. In the current crisis situation, road transport guarantees the supply and disposal for people and the economy in Switzerland every day.
“In return, the fastest possible clearance at the customs crossings must be guaranteed without waiting times,” adds Kirchhofer. There must be enough open and clean toilets. “The Astag requires the authorities at home and abroad to implement their own hygiene recommendations and health protection measures themselves.”