The French government will lift travel restrictions from the UK for French citizens, Europeans, and professionals such as truck drivers, the state broadcaster France Info reported on Tuesday afternoon. In all cases they will have to show a negative coronavirus test.
The European Commission has taken a different approach and advised all 27 member states to overturn the travel bans that most of them imposed unilaterally after the UK government’s warning on a new more contagious variant of the coronavirus.
The flow of cargo “needs to continue uninterrupted … not least to ensure the timely distribution of Covid-19 vaccines”, the commission said.
In the meantime, thousands of European truck drivers may miss their Christmases at home with their families as vehicles remain stuck on approach roads to Dover, Britain’s busiest port.
There is growing concern about the welfare of the truck drivers.
Rod McKenzie, managing director of the Road Haulage Association, told the BBC: “Clearly those drivers have spent a second night parked up somewhere, possibly on a motorway, possibly somewhere else, trying to get across the Channel, and many of them are European drivers trying to get home for Christmas, and their morale is very poor.
“Yesterday, Kent county council offered each of them one cereal bar, which is a pretty poor effort, I think, in terms of maintaining their morale, and their spirits.”
On Tuesday a Sikh charity cooked and delivered 800 hot meals to stranded drivers.
FILE PHOTO: Police officers speak to a driver in one of lorries parked on the M20 motorway towards Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover, as EU countries impose a travel ban from the UK following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Folkestone, Britain, December 21, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo