France dispatches firefighters with COVID-19 test kits to UK border amid backlog

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Representative Image
Representative Image

London [UK], December 24 (ANI/Sputnik): France has deployed 26 firefighters with thousands of COVID-19 test kits to the port of Dover, a major transit hub between France and the UK, to help accelerate the passage for trucks blocked in the area due to fresh restrictions caused by the new coronavirus strain, the French Embassy in the United Kingdom said on Thursday.

After London announced it had discovered a highly contagious new variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, France imposed a ban on arrivals from the UK, leaving thousands of lorry drivers stranded in Kent, southeast England, unable to cross the English channel. However, on Tuesday, Paris agreed to lift the ban on the entrance to the country for those who test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours.

"26 French firemen have arrived early in #Dover this morning, bringing with them 10 000 #Covid19 test kits. They are already working closely with the British on the ground, testing drivers on their way to France," the embassy tweeted.

Under the Paris-London deal, anyone aiming to enter France, but tested positive for COVID-19 will have to take another PCR test and, if still positive, stay in coronavirus-secured hotel accommodation and self-isolate.

Last week, the UK health officials detected a new variant of the coronavirus that is 70 percent more transmissible than other SARS-CoV-2 virus strains. In this regard, over 40 countries across the world closed their borders and halted travel to the United Kingdom. (ANI/Sputnik)