• Murhaf Radi, Europe Editor

Covid-19: Scuffles as hauliers face 'a few days' at UK border


Tempers have become frayed at the port of Dover as lorry drivers face continuing delays despite France reopening its border with the UK.


France ended its ban on UK arrivals on condition of a negative coronavirus test, but the backlog is expected to take days to clear.


Frustration among drivers has led to clashes with police.


Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said there were "severe delays" and urged people to avoid travelling to Kent.


Around 50 countries imposed a ban after the UK warned of a new, fast-spreading variant of coronavirus.


The French government's ban, introduced on Sunday, has now been eased to allow French citizens, British nationals living in France and hauliers to travel - if they test negative less than 72 hours before departure.


Soldiers have joined NHS Test and Trace staff in Kent to carry out rapid tests on thousands of stranded lorry drivers.


But Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said it could take "a few days" to clear the backlog.


A number of drivers clashed with police this morning, with officers trying to push back a small crowd trying to enter the Port of Dover.


Kent Police said one man is in custody after being arrested for obstructing a highway in Dover and there have been disturbances at Manston Airport, where a lorry-holding facility run by the Department for Transport is now full.


The entrance to the Port of Dover is currently closed with a line of police officers blocking it, BBC reporter Amanda Akass said.


They told her they will not start allowing vehicles through until "protesters" - several dozen drivers - move from the roundabout at the entrance.


But the drivers have said they will not move as they do not want to go to the back of the queue and cannot move as the road is blocked in both directions.



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