DOVER, UK (AP) – Trucks and passengers stranded in a one-day-long stretch of the English port of Dover began to sail on Thursday after international concerns over the rapidly spreading new corona virus variant reopened its borders with Britain.
However, thousands of stranded truck drivers waited for their turn to cross the English Channel, which was thwarted by the slow delivery of corona virus tests. Trucks were moving slowly forward to boats and trains connecting Britain to France as authorities tested whether drivers could now show the negative virus tests they needed to pass.
Officials warned it could take days to clear the backwaters, and many trucks will spend the night waiting in their carts for Christmas.
Dozens of countries quickly halted trips from the UK last weekend following British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for the closure of all non – essential shops in London and other parts of southern England to stop holiday programs to control the new, highly contagious version of the virus. .
China became the latest country to further isolate the country, suspending flights to the UK on Thursday.
But infection rates continue to rise, especially in and around London. According to the latest statistics, the capital is now positively testing a large number of people in the country. The Office for National Statistics estimates that 2.1% of people in London in mid-December have COVID-19, about 1.18% or 85 per cent of the UK population. The figures do not include those in hospitals or nursing homes.
Most of the new positive cases confirmed in London are believed to be corona virus variants, the statistics office said. For the UK as a whole, it is estimated that half of the new cases may be new variants.
Officials say the new variant is dangerous because it is so contagious, but they insist there is no evidence that it makes people even more sick. Christmas meetings and festive shopping for millions were canceled at the last minute to control the spread of the virus and ensure hospitals, many of which are close to capacity.
In Dover, two dozen French firefighters and the British army worked with health officials to test thousands of trucks that had to pass a negative COVID-19 test to pass.
Transport Secretary Grant Shops said on Twitter that of the 2,367 virus tests administered at the port as of Thursday afternoon, three were positive.
Operators of the Channel Tunnel, also known as the Euro Tunnel or “window”, told the Associated Press that backlog was slowly being wiped out and that so far 1,200 lorries had passed underwater from England to France on Thursday.
But about 5,000 drivers were stranded at the Dover ferry crossing, with about 700 trucks leaving, according to a Dover port spokesman.
British and French officials have agreed to keep the border between countries open until Christmas for truck drivers and passengers to return home.
“Normally, we close on the 25th, but now, considering the situation, the port will remain open,” said Jean-Marc Puizo, head of the French ports Calais and Bolognese-sur-Marine. Additional staff agreed to work on vacation,
The suspension of France’s border raised a lot of concerns because France is a major route for trade and travel between Britain and the continent. At this time of year, the UK relies heavily on cross-channel trade links to the continent for food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables.
The announcement of the corona virus variant came as Europe hit the wall with new viral infections and deaths. Europe as a whole has recorded more than 500,000 virus-related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, experts acknowledge due to missed cases and other factors.
Romania’s Commissioner Adina Valian tweeted: “France went against our recommendations and brought us back to where we were when supply chains were blocked in March.”
Clement Beyonc பிரான், France’s European Affairs Minister, tweeted that France had “followed the EU’s recommendation” and was now “more open than any other European country” to those coming from Britain.
Angela Charlton contributed from Paris.
Follow the AP’s information about the infection at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine And https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
“Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover.”