Hundreds of trucks arrived at the French port of Calais on Friday as authorities scrambled to remove a bottleneck in the UK, where thousands of drivers have been stuck for days over stricter coronavirus rules.
“Yesterday we had 1,000 trucks from Dover. As of 10:00 AM (9:00 AM GMT) we already had 550 trucks from the UK,” Benoit Rochet, director of the Calais Port Operator, told AFP.
“At this rate, the situation should be completely resolved by tomorrow,” he said.
The port decided to stay open despite the Christmas break so that both ferries and trains bringing trucks through the Channel Tunnel could operate.
Getlink, the Eurotunnel operator, said 478 trucks had arrived in Calais by 11:00 a.m. after 1,942 trucks were brought in Thursday.
According to an AFP journalist on site, most of the drivers drove directly towards the motorway.
Truckers were stranded in the south-east of England after France suspended all travel from the UK for 48 hours on Sunday to prevent a new strain of coronavirus, which experts feared could spread even faster, from reaching its coast.
According to EU Transport Commissioner Adina Valean, who criticized the French government’s decision, there was a massive traffic jam with up to 10,000 trucks parked on the motorways and runways at Manston Airport.
Drivers were furious that they had to spend Christmas in their taxis away from their families with minimal toilet facilities because they couldn’t get Covid-19 tests, which must be negative to be admitted to France.
After an initial team sent on Thursday, another 25 French firefighters were sent to Dover on Friday to help conduct tests.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)