By Tony Winterburn • 26 December 2020 • 7:18
Image: @jdeacon Twitter
Mammoth Testing Campaign Clears Dover Port Lorry Backlog.
Over 10,000 coronavirus tests have so far been carried out to try to clear the backlog of lorries at Dover. Some 1,100 military personnel have been deployed in Kent as part of the repatriation operation after French Covid-19 restrictions caused severe disruptions at the Port of Dover.
The Ministry of Defence said about 4,500 trucks had crossed the channel as of Friday afternoon, but added that more vehicles continue to arrive “every hour”. France’s demand that drivers show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before entering the country forced thousands of international hauliers to spend Christmas Day in their cabs.
One site at Manston Airport was at capacity with around 4,000 lorries spaced out on what used to be runways, said local reports. Other queues stretched up sections of the M20 motorway which had closed to accommodate them. On Christmas night, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said teams had tested over 10,000 of the lorry drivers for Covid-19, which meant thousands were finally able to cross over to the continent and get home to their families.
He said on Twitter: “Thanks to all the hauliers in Kent for their patience and to everyone on the ground working tirelessly to help after the French border was suddenly closed. “Over 10,000 tests have taken place and over 4,500 HGVs are back over the Channel.”
Mr Shapps also revealed that of the 10,000 tests that had been conducted, only 24 had come back with a positive result.
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