Passenger rush to beat France entry deadline leads to long freight queues

Freight trucks line up on the M20 motorway in Kent towards Dover. A rush of passengers traveling to France to circumvent the country’s ban on British tourists has had a ripple effect on freight traffic, resulting in long queues of trucks.

There were long traffic jams on the M20 motorway in Kent towards Dover and at the Channel Tunnel entrance on Saturday.

It followed queues at the port of Dover a day earlier after many people advanced their Christmas travel plans to avoid new restrictions imposed by France which went into effect at 11 p.m. on Friday.

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It was hoped that the queues for freight traffic would be reduced by Saturday afternoon.

A Eurotunnel spokesperson said: “Congestion at Dover overnight and on the A20 to Dover this morning has resulted in a transfer of freight traffic to Eurotunnel.

“There is currently slow traffic approaching J11A (Eurotunnel exit) on the M20, but freight is moving through the tunnel at normal rates and this will therefore disappear in the next few hours. “

She said all passengers who wanted to get to France through the Channel Tunnel before the deadline were able to do so.

Under new rules introduced due to the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, UK citizens now need a “compelling reason” to enter France, as tourist or business travel is banned.

Carriers, transport workers and French nationals are exempt from the new rules.

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