France announced the reopening of its borders with the UK late on Tuesday, ending a two-day closure prompted by fears of a fast-spreading coronavirus mutation in England.
As a result of the border shut down, thousands of truck drivers remain stranded in the UK, while France’s new public health measures require drivers to be tested before entering the country.
France and Britain agreed on a rapid PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 test that takes about 30 minutes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the thousands of stranded truck drivers waiting to cross the channel will be resolved in a day’s time.
Despite the reopening of the borders, FT notes the backlog of trucks on Wednesday was in the thousands.
The situation was chaotic at the Port of Dover entrance, which was blocked throughout much of Wednesday by lorry drivers unable to board ferries because they did not have the tests demanded by the French government.
The UK government set up the main testing operation 20 miles away from Dover at Kent’s Manston airport, a disused facility where most of the stranded lorries were being held. -FT
Drivers parked their trucks at Manston International Airport this week as they waited for coronavirus testing.