The United Kingdom was stuck in COVID-19 isolation on Tuesday (December 22) after much of the world cut off travel ties due to a highly infectious new coronavirus strain, snarling one of Europe’s most important trade routes just days before the Brexit cliff edge.
With emergency truck parks in Kent filling up and queues stretching along motorways, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson scrambled to get French President Emmanuel Macron to lift a ban on freight from Britain which was imposed on Sunday (December 20) night.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Tuesday that talks were ongoing between the UK and France to get freight moving between the two countries
Trucks headed to France have been stranded on the M20 or in nearby Manston airfield, with some drivers staying in them overnight.
The European Commission recommended on Tuesday that travel bans including France’s measures should end to allow freight and essential travel to resume and let people return home.
The discovery of the new strain of coronavirus, just months before vaccines are expected to be widely available, sowed a fresh wave of panic in a pandemic that has killed about 1.7 million people worldwide and more than 67,000 in Britain.