EU sets new COVID EU-UK transport rules as French border reopens

The European Commission has adopted a recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel and transport in response to a new COVID variant in the United Kingdom.
At the same time,  UK Government has sent a strong message to drivers to avoid the Kent area while the backlog of trucks is cleared following the reopening of the UK French border on the understanding that drivers are tested for the COVID virus. 

According to the IRU, testing started at 06:00 UK time on December 23 at Manston in the UK. Trucks and vans will be released in batches after negative antigen tests. Tests are expected to be organised and carried by the UK’s National Health service with military support if required. 

The EC’s recommendation states that, where in the framework of travel between an EU Member State and the UK, rapid antigen tests would be required, “the testing should not lead to the disruption of transport services”. 

You can find the full text of the recommendation along with further information from the UK Government and the Kent Resilience Forum 
– the European Commission Recommendation here
– UK Government statement on the reopening of the border here
– Statement from the Kent Resilience Forum here

The text also reiterates the principles of the EU, including the necessity of uninterrupted and continuous continue goods transport flow, exemption of transport workers from travel bans across any border, and exemption of transport staff from testing and quarantine requirements when they are travelling across a border. ESTA Director Ton Klijn said: “We will try to keep our members updated on further developments over the next few days”.