Chinese authorities have recently forced many provinces and cities to close parts of expressways in a bid to control the fast-spreading COVID outbreak in mainland China.

The restrictions also came along with several anti-epidemic policies. According to the mainland media National Business Daily, truckers must provide a negative nucleic acid test result within 48 hours to go through any stations. In some provinces, drivers were also asked for the green code in a Chinese health tracker app additionally.

Meanwhile, those who traveled from the medium and high-risk areas are not allowed to pass. However, since the queue of trucks waiting for inspection was too long, they were still trapped on the road for hours before they could turn around.

In many places, trucker drivers also have to report their travel histories within the past 14 days and other personal information like vehicle license plate number, ID, and phone numbers.

The newspaper cited a truck driver surnamed Wu, saying that he had to spend the night on the expressway emergency lane in Suzhou while waiting for the COVID testing. His dinner was a bowl of instant noodles. Wu said that many drivers had to sleep overnight as he did. He added that large trucks that could not get off the highway lined up in a long queue.

Li, another trucker from Anhui, said that after queuing to get off the highway to enter the city, drivers had to take additional nucleic acid tests at the highway exits. Then instead of carrying on their journey, local staff sealed them inside the truck with the tape placed over the truck door during the loading and unloading process. Therefore, truckers had to eat and drink inside the vehicle until they were allowed to go on the highway again.

Li also told the National Business Daily that he saw some truckers had to take water from the brake-cooling part of the trucks to quench their thirst while being trapped on the highway. Typically, large trucks are often installed with a device that sprays water onto the brake hub to maintain the appropriate temperature.

Across China, local governments have imposed stringent regulations on long-distance truck drivers entering cities. Shanxi 晋剧 Province, on April 10, closed 19 expressway toll stations and temporarily closed 13 service areas, while Henan 河南 suspended 15 expressway service areas. On the same day, Hangzhou 杭州, Ningbo 宁波市, Shaoxing 绍兴, Anhui 安徽 Huainan 淮南 also imposed such restrictions. Previously, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai have already blocked the cities’ expressway exits and toll stations from the beginning of April.

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