France Dispatches Firefighters With COVID-19 Test Kits to UK Border Amid Backlog, Embassy Says

© AFP 2022 / ADRIAN DENNISFreight lorries and goods vehicles are pictured parked in a paring lot near the Port of Dover in in Dover, Kent, on the south east coast of England on December 21, 2020
Freight lorries and goods vehicles are pictured parked in a paring lot near the Port of Dover in in Dover, Kent, on the south east coast of England on December 21, 2020 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - France has deployed 26 firefighters with thousands of COVID-19 test kits to the port of Dover, a major transit hub between France and the UK, to help accelerate the passage for trucks blocked in the area due to fresh restrictions caused by the new coronavirus strain, the French Embassy in the United Kingdom said on Thursday.

According to the embassy's post on Twitter, drivers have been undergoing coronavirus testing on their way to France.

​After London announced it had discovered a highly contagious new variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, France imposed a ban on arrivals from the UK, leaving thousands of lorry drivers stranded in Kent, southeast England, unable to cross the English channel. However, on Tuesday, Paris agreed to lift the ban on the entrance to the country for those who test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours.

Clothes and towels hang to dry on a lorry at Ashford International Truck Stop, as EU countries impose a travel ban from the UK after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Ashford, Britain - Sputnik International
COVID: Blocking Thousands of Lorries at UK Border 'Caused Carnage,' Stranded Truckers Say

Under the Paris-London deal, anyone aiming to enter France, but tested positive for COVID-19 will have to take another PCR test and, if still positive, stay in coronavirus-secured hotel accommodation and self-isolate.

Last week, the UK health officials detected a new variant of the coronavirus that is 70 percent more transmissible than other SARS-CoV-2 virus strains. In this regard, over 40 countries across the world closed their borders and halted travel to the United Kingdom.

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