French authorities have announced that, following the lifting of the coronavirus ban, travel from the UK will be allowed again, but anyone wishing to travel will have to show a negative test result.
However, due to the French decision to avoid shippers from using the canal, the conditions attached to the trips would do nothing to relieve congestion in Kent.
Scottish seafood ‘devastated’ by border concerns in the midst of UK-France contract calls
In hopes of boarding a ferry or train, Transport Minister Grant Shapps urged truckers not to travel to the county – but said that “good progress” had been made in talks to resolve the issue.
In response to concerns about the transmission of the more contagious form of coronavirus that is circulating in the UK, the travel ban was implemented.
#COVID19: “Planes, ships and Eurostar trains will resume operations from tomorrow morning. French nationals, people living in France and those with a legitimate reason will have to carry a negative test” – French Delegate to the Ministry of Transport: https://t.co/WWdzbczNP7
– French Embassy of the United Kingdom (@FranceintheUK) 22 December 2020.
French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebarri said, “From tomorrow morning, airplanes, ships and Eurostar trains will resume their services.”
“French nationals, people living in France and those who have a legitimate reason will have to carry a negative test.”
“Mr. Shapps said, “Today we have made strong progress and reached agreement on the borders with the French government.
“We will give an update on transporters later this evening, but transporters are still not allowed into Kent tonight.”
There was strong progress today and an agreement on the borders with the French government. Later tonight, we’re going to send an update on transporters, but transporters are still NOT allowed into Kent tonight.
– 22 December 2020 Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps)
Owing to the disturbance, over 2,800 trucks were stranded in Kent on Tuesday afternoon.
Nicola Sturgeon, speaking at Holyrood earlier, said a freight protocol between the UK government and France must be decided “without delay” or face “devastating” consequences.
The First Minister said that the problems with freight entering and leaving the United Kingdom would not lead to food shortages, but stressed that food exporters are of “real and immediate concern” about the issue.
This is the peak time of the year for seafood exports and the Christmas market is almost definitely missing now,” she explained.”
UK coronavirus border closure:’ deadly blow’ faced by Scottish firms
“This is devastating for our premium seafood companies and they need our support.”
James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink, cautioned that a “fatal blow” for certain companies might be the loss of Christmas sales.
Mr Withers said, “Contrary to yesterday’s optimistic assessment by the Prime Minister, the situation has deteriorated with an increasing backlog of lorries.”
Pre-Christmas sales are now destroyed for some of our shellfish exporters. It looks like a difficult task to bring the goods tomorrow to the major markets in Spain.
“This is an irretrievable loss of income, and I’m afraid it will be a fatal blow to some of the smaller companies after they’ve already had a horrendous year.”
Elsewhere, pending an appeal by the European Commission for countries to lift the restrictions, Germany has agreed to extend its ban on travelers from the UK entering the country until January 6.
The German Government has extended the ban on passenger flights arriving in Germany from the United Kingdom until Wednesday, January 6, 2021, to a ban on all forms of transport,” a statement from the German Foreign Office stated.”
Transport companies are prohibited from offering air, bus, ferry and train travel from the United Kingdom to Germany during this time.’
‘From 1 January 2021, transport companies will be able to apply for an exemption from carriage of passengers resident in Germany from the German authorities.’ For more details, contact your transport company.