Britain and France have reached an agreement on re-opening the border, two days after the French government banned all UK arrivals, including hauliers, over concerns about a new variant of the CCP virus detected in the UK.
“Good progress today and agreement with the French Government on borders,” Britain’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps wrote on Twitter.
Good progress today and agreement with the French Government on borders. We will provide an update on hauliers later this evening, but hauliers must still NOT travel to Kent this evening.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) December 22, 2020
However, lorry drivers are still advised not to travel to ports on England’s south coast such as Dover.
“We will provide an update on hauliers later this evening, but hauliers must still NOT travel to Kent this evening,” Shapps said.
French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said travellers can enter France only if they can provide a negative COVID-19 test result.
Les avions, les bateaux et les Eurostar reprendront leur service dès demain matin. Les ressortissants français, les résidents en France et ceux qui ont un motif légitime devront être munis d’un test négatif.
Thank you @grantshapps for the amazing work we have done the last 48h!
— Jean-Baptiste Djebbari (@Djebbari_JB) December 22, 2020
“Planes, boats and Eurostar will resume their service from tomorrow morning. French citizens, French residents and those who have a legitimate purpose must provide a negative test,” he wrote on Twitter.
“For goods transport, we will communicate on the sanitary protocol a little later in the evening. I invite road carriers not to come to the places of embarkation before the official announcements,” he wrote in French.
“Given the need to ensure essential travel and transit home as described in the recommendation, any prohibition of transport services, such as flight or train bans, should be discontinued,” said the Commission, the executive body of the European Union.
To control its spread, the UK government reversed plans to ease curbs on family gatherings over the holiday season and announced that London and large swathes of southeast England would come under “tier four” restrictions, which are broadly equivalent to the national lockdown in England in November.
Since then, countries across the world have halted air travel to the UK, and France closed its borders for 48 hours on Sunday, triggering fears the measures could lead to food shortages if not soon reversed.