Thousands of truck drivers scramble for tests at UK port after France eases blockade
On Sunday night, several countries around the world such as France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands, shut down borders with the UK and banned travel due to renewed fear brought on by the discovery of a new mutated variant of coronavirus that was in England. Due to the announcement, the crossing over the English Channel between Dover, England and Calais, France was halted. Thousands of truck drivers were stranded at the port for days waiting to participate in trade. This port alone sees about 17% of the UK’s goods imports, and the shutdown has the potential to heavily impact the UK’s economy.
Yesterday, following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pleas, a deal was reached allowing truck drivers and French citizens to cross the channel with proof of a negative Covid-19 test from the past 72 hours. There are still thousands of drivers waiting for tests to be conducted on Wednesday as efforts to conduct tests are being organized, but are not yet easing the gridlock. The deal requiring all drivers to take an antigen test to detect the new strain of the virus will be reviewed on December 31st.