France agrees to ease virus travel ban from the UK

French agree to ease virus travel ban
Lorries are parked near the port, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, after the Port of Dover, England. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: France will start letting traffic from the United Kingdom back in from Wednesday after the two countries reached agreement over their shared border, closed amid concerns over a new coronavirus variant. The relaxation of the travel ban comes amid pressure from the EU to keep the supply chain uninterrapted.

Freight drivers and some passengers, including EU citizens, will be among those will be allowed to return – if they have a recent negative test for coronavirus.

Since the border shut on Sunday, some 2,850 lorries have been stuck in Kent.

National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace staff and the military will be deployed for testing.

Planes, Eurostar trains and boates will resume on Wednesday morning.

Under the agreement between France and the UK, admittance to France will be granted to those travelling for urgent reasons, including French citizens and British citizens with French residency.

But in order to travel, they will need to have received a Covid-19 negative test result less than 72 hours before departure.

Rapid lateral flow tests will be used to detect the new strain of the coronavirus. This test kit can detect the new strain and give a result in about 30 minutes.

The drivers will receive the test result by text message, and this message would give them the right to cross the Channel.

The government of France will also carry out sample testing on incoming freight to the UK.

The announcement of relaxing the travel ban comes after the EU Commission urged member states to drop their travel bans to avoid supply chain disruption.

More than 50 countries across the world have banned UK arrivals following widespread concern about the spread of the new variant.

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