NI lorry driver left living in cab ‘like leper’ after Covid test

John Hanna had to live in the cab of his lorry with no washing or toilet facilities for several days. Credit: UTV

John Hanna has been driving lorries across Europe for two decades, so his trip to Belgium last week should have been pretty straight-forward.

But before he left England for France, he tested positive for coronavirus and so began a nightmare couple of days.

“Once they said we’d tested positive for Covid, nobody wanted to know,” John told UTV.

“Just felt like a leper.”

Stranded in Liverpool and having to self-isolate, John had to live in the cab of his lorry with no washing or toilet facilities for several days.

“I thought the guys out there would have had something in place, the way they have something in place in Kent,” John said.

“If you go down into Kent and test positive, they have a hotel and stuff down there for you, but they have nothing up this end at all for drivers.”

Help finally arrived from people who read about his situation on social media, with a local MLA getting in touch with the mayor of Liverpool.

Merseysiders rallied and found John an apartment to self-isolate in.

But as he settled in to his new temporary base, news came from home – his wife and three children had also tested positive, leaving him worrying about them as well as his own predicament.

Thankfully, neither John or his family have developed any serious Covid symptoms.

However, that is not the end of his journey.

Working with the Road Haulage Association, he plans to push for change that would help local lorry drivers if they tested positive while working away from home.