HGV drivers have clashed with Kent Police officers this morning (Wednesday, 23rd December) amid rising tensions over the requirement for them to have COVID tests before being allowed to go into France.
Thousands of drivers have been effectively left stranded since Sunday when the French authorities, without any warning, closed the UK/French border following the UK government’s announcement regarding the new strain of COVID.
The ban on travel into France was lifted last night, but HGV drivers must now travel to Manston Airport for testing before being allowed on their way, assuming that their COVID test comes back as being negative.
In one video (below) an angry driver can be heard shouting at police, objecting to the fact that he and his colleagues need to travel to Manston for testing.
KentOnline reported that there are no facilities at Dover, which is now completely gridlocked, to conduct tests and with at least 2,800 drivers in Kent those sat yards from the port are being told they must go to Manston.
The roads around Manston are effectively gridlocked as crowds of angry lorry drivers block the main carriageway.
Hope that the huge backlog would quickly start to dwindle have been dashed, owing to the tensions which have surfaced following the testing requirements.
One Polish driver at the protest said the truckers were from all across Europe and were angry at not being able to leave the site.
“[We have] no shower, food is only hamburger and chips; not a banana, or an orange, just a hamburger,” he said.
“I have no information, zero information. I have 1,400km to go to my home. It’s Christmas time!
“I had a delivery from Poland to Dover. This is food for your homes this Christmas.
“But we must wait, wait, wait, and wait, with no test.”
Another driver told a reporter from KentOnline: “We’re not allowed off, we’re not allowed off. We have to protest.”
Featured image credit: Skodapasser / Twitter
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