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UK-France journey to renew as 1000’s of lorry drivers stranded after border closures amid Covid-19 mutation

Journey between the UK and France is ready to renew on Wednesday after headway in border disaster talks between the 2 nations, as some 2,800 lorries stay stranded in Kent, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps mentioned on Tuesday.

It comes after France shut their borders to Brits following the invention of a brand new coronavirus variant within the UK {that a} authorities well being chief mentioned had unfold “in all places” all through the nation.

Shapps’ French counterpart Jean-Baptiste Djebbari thanked him for the progress made, as he introduced in a tweet that planes, boats and Eurostar trains would resume service between the UK and France from Wednesday morning.

Nevertheless solely British or EU residents usually resident in France will have the ability to journey, and solely after they’ve offered a unfavourable Covid-19 take a look at that is ready to detect the brand new mutation.

Shapps mentioned in a tweet that there had been “good progress in the present day and settlement with the French Authorities on borders,” with the brand new preparations set to final till January 6.

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He and French Prime Minister Jean Castex each mentioned that extra particulars could be launched within the subsequent few hours, whereas Shapps urged hauliers to keep away from travelling to Kent in the meanwhile.

Aerial footage on Tuesday confirmed a whole lot of HGVs backed up alongside the M20 motorway resulting in Dover, whereas the runway at Kent’s Manston Airfield was getting used as an overflow lorry park for nearly 1,000 lorries.

In response to the Instances, the British Armed Forces will likely be drafted in to conduct lateral movement Covid-19 assessments on as much as 6,000 lorry drivers a day on the airfield, though drivers have to be screened 72 hours earlier than they cross the English Channel.

On Tuesday night dozens of offended lorry drivers appeared to stage a mini protest in Dover at not being allowed to cross into France and subsequently make it residence in time for Christmas.

MPs additionally blasted Boris Johnson for his dealing with of the disaster, branding him “a liar,” after the prime minister claimed on Monday that solely 170 lorries had been queued on the M20.

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There have additionally been experiences of Brits panic-buying meals amid fears of shortages because of the border state of affairs, whereas the chief of business physique, the British Retail Consortium, Andrew Opie, mentioned he anticipated delays within the provide chain.

“Until motion resumes within the subsequent 24 hours, from December 27 some contemporary produce is not going to make it to cabinets,” he advised MPs in Parliament on Tuesday.

The chaos comes because the UK authorities’s chief scientific adviser warned {that a} new coronavirus variant, which is reportedly extra contagious, had unfold throughout the UK.

Nevertheless the World Well being Group’s emergencies chief Mike Ryan sought to dispel fears over the mutation on Monday as he mentioned there was “zero proof that the brand new coronavirus variant will increase severity of the illness.”

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