UK Airfield Turns into World's Largest Truck Parking Lot After France Bars Borders

The French border was closed due to a new COVID-19 strain, it has now been reopened for emergencies.
Loukia Papadopoulos

On Sunday, France closed its borders to stop the spread of a more dangerous more contagious strain of COVID-19 found in the UK. This left around 2,850 trucks stranded at the English Channel port of Dover, reported the BBC.


A massive truck stop

The unwelcome drivers were all redirected to park at the Manston Airport creating a massive truck stop. Since then, an agreement between the UK and France has seen the border reopened for those traveling for emergencies. However, all who pass the border must first have conducted a COVID-19 test. 

The test needs to have come back negative and have been conducted less than 72 hours before crossing. The drivers are reported to be undergoing rapid lateral flow tests and a "protocol is still being finalized" to decide what to do with those drivers who test positive, a government source told the BBC.

Despite the borders having been reopened for urgent matters, it does not seem like Manston Airport will be clearing up any time soon. This could potentially cause issues with what is available on grocery store shelves. 

According to the BBC, Andrew Opie, British Retail Consortium director of food and sustainability, told the House of Commons' Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee: "What we've been told by members is that unless those trucks can start traveling again and go back to Spain and Portugal and other parts of Europe, we will have problems with fresh produce from 27 December."

A dire warning

However, the BBC also reported that UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has warned drivers not to travel to Kent.

"I am pleased that we have made this important progress with our French counterparts this evening. This protocol will see the French border reopen to those traveling for urgent reasons, provided they have a certified negative Covid test," said Shapps.

"We continue to urge haulers not to travel to Kent until further notice as we work to alleviate congestion at ports."

In the meantime, it has been reported that the drivers stuck at the border have been exhibiting the Christmas spirit by helping their fellow drivers by sending them food and drinks. Sometimes the harshest of circumstances can bring out the best in people.

"We like to help because this is a difficult time," said one of the stranded drivers according to the BBC.

If you want to see what the world's largest truck shop looks like, you can watch this footage of AIRLIVE net embedded below.

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