The European Transport Commission has criticised the French authorities for the sudden imposition of coronavirus testing earlier this week that resulted in shocking delays on approach routes to Dover port.

Thousands of drivers were stuck in their cabs for several nights in a row, many without food. Toilet facilities were almost non-existent, the drivers said.

Many of the truck drivers had been trying to get back to their families in central and eastern Europe, where Christmas is celebrated on December 24.

The British army started rapid roadside tests on Wednesday, and in the early hours of Thursday, December 24, several dozen firefighters arrived from France with 10,000 coronavirus test kits.

Commissioner Adina Valean said: “I deplore that France went against our recommendations and brought us back to the situation we were in in March when the supply chains were interrupted.”

Dover is responsible for 20 percent of the UK’s food imports and more than 80 percent of the drivers making the crossing are EU citizens.