France extends UK border closure until further notice


France extends UK border closure until further notice
A view of check-in at the Port of Dover in Kent on the first fully operational day at the port under post-Brexit regulations. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday January 4, 2021. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire Check-in at the Port of Dover in Kent on the first fully operational day under post-Brexit regulations (Picture: PA)

France has extended its closure of the UK border until further notice as coronavirus infections continue to rise.

The border was initially closed last month, causing widespread traffic chaos for lorry drivers in Dover with less than two weeks until the end of the Brexit transition period.

France joined a number of other countries to place a temporary travel ban after the discovery of a mutant strain of Covid-19 believed to be 50% to 70% more infectious.

The French border was reopened on December 22 in response to European truck drivers being stuck overnight in miles of traffic.

However people are only allowed to come to France from the UK if they produced a negative Covid-19 test beforehand.

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They must also be essential workers, live in France or have French or EU citizenship, meaning the majority of Brits still can ’t visit.

Police vehicles, barriers and road cones mark the front of the line of freight lorries in Operation Brock on the M20 near Ashford, Kent, where hundreds of travellers are spending Christmas Day as they wait to resume their journey to the Port of Dover and across The Channel now that the borders with France have reopened. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday December 25, 2020. Delays continue as travellers must be able to show proof of a negative test result carried out within the past 72 hours in order to be able to cross into France. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire France ’s border closure caused traffic chaos on the M20 near Ashford, Kent (Picture: PA)

In a statement today France ’s minister for European affairs Clément Beaune said: ‘We decided on December 20 to close the borders with the United Kingdom and this measure will be extended until further notice. ’

At a press conference today French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the country ‘cannot lower its guard ’ as he announced prolonged closures of bars, restaurants and cultural centres until at least February.

France will remain under an 8pm to 6am curfew, with some places limited to 6pm to 6am.

Castex said: ‘The time has not come to return to normal . . . We still admit one person to the hospital every seven minutes. and one in two people in intensive care are there for Covid-19. ’

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