London, Dec 26 (efe-epa).- Thousands of truckers who had been stuck in the south of England after France closed its borders with the United Kingdom amid concerns of a new variant of Covid-19 have on Sunday made it back to the continent, according to the British government.
UK transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said all the trucks that had been parked up for days in an airfield in Kent had now left.
France agreed to open its borders on the condition that those entering tested negative for Covid-19.
Shapps added that over 15,500 tests had been conducted and that 36 people had tested positive, a rate of 0.23%.
The UK’s public broadcast, the BBC, reported that 8,500 trucks had crossed back to the continent since Wednesday, either via the Channel Tunnel or via ferry from Dover.
An estimated 1,600 tuckers are still waiting to make the crossing, according to the same reports.
Some 1,100 British Army soldiers have been deployed to the area to conduct the Covid-19 tests on the haulers.
France joined a number of European nations last weekend in closing its borders to UK passengers after the British government announced that a new variant of coronavirus discovered in the south of England appeared to spread faster than other variants.
According to Spanish company Fenadismer, thousands of trucks remain trapped in the UK, with many Spanish drivers facing the prospect of not arriving home until New Year’s Eve.
The firm warned that there could be disruption on 1 January, when the UK wakes up as a third-party country and will no longer be part of the European Union.EFE-EPA