Lorry drivers clash with police in Dover after French border reopens

Frustrated lorry drivers have clashed with police in Dover as they continue to be held up by the French travel ban.

Footage shows a handful of police officers attempting to push back a small crowd of mostly men in Dover on Wednesday morning.

It comes as Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick warned it may take a “few days” to clear the backlog of around 4,000 lorries waiting to cross the Channel.

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France has lifted the travel ban, but said those seeking to cross into the country from the UK must have a negative coronavirus result.

Police hold back drivers trying to enter the Port of Dover in Kent after French authorities announced that the coronavirus ban was lifted and journeys from the UK will be allowed to resume, but that those seeking to travel must have a negative test result.
Police hold back drivers trying to enter the Port of Dover in Kent after French authorities announced that the coronavirus ban was lifted and journeys from the UK will be allowed to resume, but that those seeking to travel must have a negative test result.

Mr Jenrick told Sky News that drivers will receive rapid lateral flow tests, which can give results in about 30 minutes, followed by a PCR test if they come back positive.

Those who return a second positive result will be offered “Covid-secure” hotel accommodation.

Mr Jenrick said he hoped HGVs would begin crossing the Channel on Wednesday morning as drivers undergo Covid-19 testing.

He said, as of 7pm on Tuesday night, there were just under 3,000 lorries at the disused airfield site at Manston, Kent.

Between 700 to 800 were part of Operation Stack on the M20, he said.

“Whatever the number is, whether it is 4,000 or more, it is a significant number to work through,” Mr Jenrick acknowledged as he advised hauliers not to travel to Kent.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) estimates between 8,000 and 10,000 delayed lorries are now in Kent and its surrounding areas, in lorry stops and at depots waiting for borders to reopen and to cross the Channel.

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