France have banned all transport from entering and leaving the country as the new strain of coronavirus is sweeping across the UK.
The French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari has said that they are aiming to establish a European-wide sanitary porotocol measures to reopen borders within “hours.”
There has been severe disruption on the motorways in Kent, as the Port of Dover has suspended all exports to France for at least 48 hours following the travel ban.
The UK police have started “Operation Stack” as huge lorry queues are snaking through Kent on the eastbound carriageway of the M20 between Juntions 8 and 11.
Kent Police said, “contingency measure following the French government’s announcement it will not accept any passengers arriving from the UK for the next 48 hours.”
The French Tranposrt Minister, Djebbari said on Monday, “In the next few hours, at European level, we’re going to establish a solid health protocol to ensure that movement from the UK can resume.
“Our priority, to protect our nationals and our fellow citizens.”
A British government spokesperson said, “We are expecting significant disruption in Kent following the announcement by the French Government that, from 23.00 on Sunday 20 December, it will not accept any passengers from the UK for the next 48 hours.
“As a result we are urging everybody, including all hauliers to avoid travelling to Kent ports until further notice.
“We are working closely with Kent Resilience Forum, Kent Council and Highways England to ensure contingency measures are urgently put in place to manage disruption, and the Prime Minister will chair a COBRA meeting tomorrow to discuss the situation.”
Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association (RHA), said the travel ban which is causing disruption could cause problems with “fresh food supply” in the run-up to Christmas.
Speaking to the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said, “With it being so close to Christmas we’re looking at 48 hours at this point in time in terms of the restrictions, we’re likely to see Operation Stack building in terms of numbers of vehicles on the UK side and that might be a deterrent for EU hauliers to want to come so close to Christmas and end up being stranded here, that’s part of the challenge that we’re facing today.”