Lufthansa has flown 80 tonnes of fresh produce to the UK as fears grow that the slow easing of the Channel travel restrictions will not free up the flow of fruit and vegetables to British supermarkets quickly enough to prevent shortages in days to come.

The cargo – which landed at Doncaster/Sheffield – included lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, citrus fruits and strawberries, the airline said. It was considering other flights to the UK.

Although the testing of drivers is slowly releasing some of the trucks to return to the continent, it will be days before fresh produce coming to the UK by road.

Thousands of mainly European truck drivers have been stuck for several days on the M20 approach to Dover, and they are unlikely to have much of an appetite to repeat the same experience any time soon.

The British Road Haulage Association said on Wednesday that clearing the backlog of trucks at Dover will take days, not hours. “Nothing is moving,” a spokesman said.

FILE PHOTO: A ferry carrying trucks arrives at Dover Reuters