France to lift travel ban for those with negative Covid test

The news comes as thousands of HGVs remain stuck in Kent after Channel crossings were cancelled.

France to lift travel ban for those with negative Covid test Getty Images

French authorities have said journeys from the UK will be allowed to resume, but those seeking to travel must have a negative coronavirus test result.

The travel ban was imposed in response to fears about the spread of a more infectious coronavirus strain which has been reported in the UK.

French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebarri said: “Planes, boats and Eurostar trains will resume service as of tomorrow morning.

“French nationals, people living in France and those with a legitimate reason will have to be carrying a negative test.”

However the relaxation of the travel ban may do little to ease congestion in Kent caused by the decision to stop hauliers using the Channel crossing.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urged lorry drivers not to head to the county in the hope of boarding a ferry or train.

Mr Shapps tweeted: “Good progress today and agreement with the French Government on borders.

“We will provide an update on hauliers later this evening, but hauliers must still NOT travel to Kent this evening.”

More than 2800 HGVs were stuck in Kent on Tuesday afternoon as a result of the disruption.

The French decision to ease its restrictions came after the European Commission recommended a joint approach from EU members in response to the mutant VUI 202012/1 coronavirus.

The EU-wide approach recommended by the commission would allow essential travel, and transit of passengers should be facilitated.

Flight and train bans “should be discontinued given the need to ensure essential travel and avoid supply chain disruptions”, the commission said.

EU justice commissioner Didier Reynders said: “Member states should take co-ordinated action to discourage non-essential travel between the UK and the EU.”

But “at the same time, blanket travel bans should not prevent thousands of EU and UK citizens from returning to their homes”.

Transport commissioner Adina Valean said: “Within the EU, it is crucial that transport workers are exempted from any restrictive measures.”

The EU’s recommendation suggested rapid tests should be used to avoid disruption to cargo flows.

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