To combat the spread of coronavirus disease 2019, the Czech Republic declared a state of emergency starting March 11, 2020 The country has closed external borders for a period of 30 days. From the evening of March 15, the entry of non-Czech citizens from 18 “undesirable” countries, including most of the European Union, is limited.
“The pandemic has affected the private and public lives of all Czechs. The country’s government was one of the first in Europe to take tough measures to combat the spread of the virus. The Czech authorities, as well as European Union leaders, are helping to keep supply chains running smoothly. Without such assistance, living from day to day would be a real test,” says Tatyana Serikova, AsstrA Prague Branch Manager.
New restrictions are introduced in the country every day. Numerous local and global companies have already have instituted a remote work policy. Since the health and well-being of staff remains a top priority for the AsstrA international corporate group, the Prague office went into remote work mode when the nationwide quarantine was announced.
“There are 12 members of AsstrA’s Czech team. Each one began working from home without difficulty. For now, remote work is standard practice. The team stays in constant contact with clients and transport partners. Thanks to technology, meetings and trainings are scheduled to be held online. This is a valuable opportunity to discover and build competencies, especially empathy, creativity, and self-discipline. I would like to thank the entire office team for keeping things running smoothly despsite the new restrictions,” says Tatyana Serikova.
The introduction of the quarantine transformed the structure of Czech logistics. Goods can no longer pass freely across national borders, although international freight is an exception. At Czech border crossings, strong precautionary measures have been imposed on vehicle drivers, including checking their body temperatures and requiring them to wear protective masks.
The Prague office team is monitoring official updates every day to keep clients abreast of operational news and respond promptly to potential difficulties. Preventive measures to combat the pandemic have been introduced at loading / loading sites and warehouses. There are cases where shippers do not allow foreign drivers to enter the premises. To fulfill these clients’ requirements, the drivers detach their trailers and wait outside the gate. Also, many Czech enterprises – including the Skoda Plant – have temporarily suspended work and are quarantined.
In response to this situation, AsstrA is working at 110% to ensure that shipments are delivered on time and in full. On some routes, for example, to Italy, France, or Spain, there is an acute shortage of available vehicles. On these routes we offer alternative solutions. We don’t let our customers down,” summarizes Tatyana Serikova.