Rage boils over at Dover port as drivers from 4,000 waiting lorries push cops as Macron backs down to reopen border

RAGE boiled over this morning at Dover as drivers from 4,000 stuck lorries pushed cops while anxiously waiting to cross the Channel.

It comes after the first passengers from the UK arrived in France early this morning, after Emmanuel Macron backed down over the chaos-causing blockade.

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Lorry drivers without negative Covid tests have been turned away from the border, as fears continue over the mutant strain spreading in England.

Furious drivers have been waiting in the UK for three days, with only their lorries to sleep, wash and eat in.

They have been parked up on the side of motorways or any spare space in Kent, without toilets, anxiously waiting to see if they will get home for Christmas.

A mob of drivers surged towards a line of police at the port this morning as frustrations reached breaking point, shoving and booing the officers.

This morning ferries began to take people from the UK over to the port of Calais again after Britain and France's deal to ease the crossborder travel ban.

It comes as:

  • All of the UK could be thrown into Tier 4 lockdown in New Year as mutant strain spread "everywhere"
  • The number of Covid patients in hospital could hit April peak by New Year
  • Boris Johnson warned Brits to "shop normally" amidst fears of food shortages
  • Nicola Sturgeon was caught not wearing a facemask in a pub

France clamped down on Sunday night, stopping all traffic in and out from the UK, before other countries swiftly followed by banning entry to British travellers and freight.

Fears for Britain's fresh food supply and Christmas deliveries were sparked as thousands of lorries stood stuck in long line on motorways at both sides of the border.

The backlog will take some time to shift, despite movement starting this morning, with some 4,000 lorries caught in Kent as their drivers wait for the ok to travel.

Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick told Sky News it would take "a few days" to test all the drivers before they can go to France.

"I hope that this morning you will see people and HGVs crossing the Channel," he said.

The Communities Secretary said as of 7pm on Tuesday night there were just under 3,000 lorries at the disused airfield site at Manston, Kent.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced yesterday a deal had been reached that "will see the French border reopen to those travelling for urgent reasons, provided they have a certified negative Covid test".

However, he urged lorry drivers not to head towards Channel ports hoping to be able to board ferries or trains.

The Army was called in to Dover last night to help test the thousands of stranded lorry drivers as France reopened its borders.

The Telegraph reports that NHS Test and Trace mobile units, overseen by Army logistics experts, will roll out the tests to freight drivers to help bring an end to the chaos at the Port.

Staff wearing fluorescent jackets bearing the NHS Test and Trace logo arrived in the port town last night following a 230-mile journey from Doncaster.

French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebarri confirmed that air travel, ferries and Eurostar trains would "resume service".

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

As night fell last night, drivers of some 800 trucks parked at a nearby disused airport sounded their horns for more than half an hour in protest.

Despite the fresh agreement — which will be reviewed on December 31 — it is unclear when traffic will begin moving again.

The British transport ministry said: "All lorry drivers, irrespective of nationality, will require a lateral flow test."

In a statement, they added the test could detect the new Covid-19 variant "in around 30 minutes, rather than the 24 hours required after a PCR test".

The French Ministry of Transport said in a statement that all travellers from Britain would be required to present a negative Covid-19 test to their airline, ship or railway company less than 72 hours before departure.

French nationals, EU nationals or French residents who need to complete essential travel will be allowed to cross the border.

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