The decision comes after the achievement of an agreement with France to reopen its border
The UK prepares to begin a mass testing programme at its ports. This comes after the achievement of an agreement to reopen its border with France.
The mass testing programme of UK
The mass testing programme for lorry drivers will get in order to alleviate congestion at ports.
All lorry drivers, irrespective of nationality, will require a lateral flow test, which can provide results in about 30 minutes. Moreover, the French government will also carry out sample testing on incoming freight to the UK.
French authorities announced that journeys from the UK will be allowed to resume on Wednesday after the coronavirus ban was lifted. At the same time, those who want to travel must have a negative test result. The travel ban was imposed in response to fears about the spread of the more infectious coronavirus strain, which is spreading in the UK.
Full details of the mass testing programme have not yet been released. However, Mr Shapps warned it could take until Christmas for congestion to be relieved near ports. He said also the protocol agreed with the French government will be reviewed on December 31 but could run until January 6.
The explanations of political world
Transport secretary Grant Shapps expressed his pride in having reached an important step forward with his French counterparts. He also explained: “This protocol will see the French border reopen to those travelling for urgent reasons, provided they have a certified negative Covid test”. And he added: “We continue to urge hauliers not to travel to Kent until further notice as we work to alleviate congestion at ports“.
Good progress today and agreement with the French Government on borders. We will provide an update on hauliers later this evening, but hauliers must still NOT travel to Kent this evening.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) December 22, 2020
At the same time, the French foreign affairs ministry issued a press release. He announced that from 11pm UK time there would be a “limited resumption of the movement of people from the United Kingdom to France subject to negative health tests sensitive to the variant”. Moreover, the statement also said that a negative test result, taken less than 72 hours before the journey, is required. Those who can make journeys include French and EU residents and ritish or third-party nationals who normally live in France or the EU.
Finally, Eurotunnel clarified only pre-booked passengers who had already tested negative should go to its terminal. It explianed that, from 23:00hrs on December 22, to travel to France passengers will need:
- A negative result from a Covid-19 test accepted by the French Government, taken in the last 72 hours
- An email or SMS certificate issued by the testing facility