UK and France Agree to Reopen Border on Wednesday

UK and France Agree to Reopen Border on Wednesday
Freight lorries queue on the main route into the port of Dover on the south coast of England on Dec. 18, 2020. (Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images)
Alexander Zhang

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.

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.

“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.

Earlier on Tuesday, the European Commission issued a recommendation urging all 27 EU member states to lift their travels bans on the UK.

“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.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday the new variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus was 70 percent more transmissible than the old strain.
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.