Macron eases border rules from TONIGHT: Covid tests dropped for some lorry drivers

Kent: Stranded driver lays in front of a lorry in protest

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Lorry drivers who have spent less than 48-hours in the UK will no longer be required to show a negative Covid test before being allowed to enter France. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps had previously criticised the rule as adding a layer of bureaucracy to the cross-Channel journey.

Hauliers had been required to prove they have tested negative since the border with France reopened in December.

They are obliged to take a Covid-19 test before arriving at outbound ports, such as Dover or the Eurotunnel.

The decision to continue testing had come from the French government, the Department for Transport said last month.

But it appears French ministers have changed their position, with Mr Shapps announcing the welcome changes to the border rules on Twitter earlier today.

He wrote: @I’ve agreed more flexibility in testing for hauliers travelling from the UK to France.

“From 11pm tonight, lorries returning to France from UK having spent less than 48hrs in the UK will NO LONGER require a Coronavirus test.”

The new rules means drivers returning to France from the UK on a round-trip who have spent less than 48 hours in the UK do not need to test negative for coronavirus before travelling.

Cross-channel operators will give drivers evidence of the time of their trip to the UK, which can then be shown at check-in for the return journey.

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French authorities will also recognise proof of a negative coronavirus test taken in Ireland if the test was taken less than 72 hours before departure from the UK for France.

But hauliers will still need to test negative if they are travelling to Denmark, Germany or the Netherlands, or are going to France after spending longer than 48 hours in the UK, according to the Government website.

Drivers that need a negative test to travel are told then can get tested privately, if it is bought by an authorised test provider, or via a free haulier advice site.

The Government states NHS test results cannot be used as they do not provide the proof needed to travel.

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The website states most sites are open between 6am-9.30pm seven days a week and are located at motorway services and truck stops.

In December France refused arrivals from the UK for 48 hours between December 20-22 due to a new virus variant initially discovered in Kent.

Passenger ferries and lorry freight bound for France were suspended from Dover, Portsmouth and Newhaven.

Lorries were “stacked” in southern England, leaving thousands of foreign drivers stranded just before Christmas.

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