Although the entire Czech Republic is currently dependent on the work of truck drivers who import much-needed food and raw materials, these people have problems with basic hygiene needs on their travels. In the Czech Republic, there's no chance for them to take a shower, or even go to the toilet. All gas stations are closed, they sell through the window.
It is therefore no surprise that the surroundings of gas stations could be compared to a minefield now. A reeking minefield. Mr. Petr Jerhot, who practically lives in his truck now, has seen the worst of it. He cannot go home, because his family is afraid he might infect them, since he travels internationally, and so Mr. Jerhot simply keeps driving. Occasionally, he finds asylum in the premises of the company he works for.
From Rozvadov to Prague
"Basically, from Rozvadov to Prague, there is no gas station that would let us use the showers or at least the toilet. We all do our business in the closest bush, so you can imagine how the places look like now. You really have to watch your step," described Jerhot, adding that gas stations are forbidden from letting the drivers in their premises. Even though they all have face masks and other protective equipment.
"It's really terrible. In France, nobody seems to have a problem, people don't even wear face masks, so it's free over there, and in Germany it's for the standard fee. This is the only country where it's not possible,"
complains the driver, whose shipments are of utmost importance for many sellers and hence for us, the customers.
"We recommended our members to close the toilets for the public, but when a long-distance driver arrives, they should let him in,"
said Ivan Indráček, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Union of Independent Petroleum Industry, adding that when you're in a situation where you don't have the necessary means to protect your personnel, you need to take measures. Then, of course, you start looking for alternative solutions, but that may take some time.
The management of each service station can more or less set their own rules, so it is up to them whether or not they let the drivers tend to their basic needs.
In any case, it is sad that the employees of long-haul transport companies don't even have a place where they could refresh themselves before work in dignity.