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France to re-open border to its own nationals, residents and professionals

Lauretta Roberts
22 December 2020

France is expected to open its borders with the UK but only to its own nationals, French residents and professionals such as truck drivers, and they must all have had a recent negative COVID test.

Britons other non-French nationals with a permanent residence in France will be able to return to France, but the border will remain closed to all other non-French citizens in the UK, France's national broadcaster France Info has said.

The UK government remains in talks with France about allowing accompanied freight to continue to travel freely between the two countries to alleviate chaos at UK ports and ensure shops are not left short of suppliers.

Following Boris Johnson's announcement of a new Tier 4 set of restrictions as a result of a new variant of COVID-19, that is believe to be more transmissable, France immediately issued a 48-hour ban on accompanied freight entering the country. It also, along with many other nations, issued a travel ban from the UK.

UK Home secretary, Priti Patel, said talks remained under way about re-opening the French border to UK freight which could perhaps be achieved with the testing of all drivers. At the moment there are believed to be around 650 trucks (though reports on the exact number vary) backed up at Dover. Many of them are empty and due to bring back vital food supplies; others contain supplies destined for France and other countries on the continent.

Patel said that the two Governments were working on a resolution and transport minister Grant Schapps would give an update later today.

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