Around 100 HGVs have now left the lorry holding facility at Manston airport tonight (December 23) to resume their journey to France.
The French border was initially closed to UK passengers and accompanied freight on Sunday night with the French government voicing concerns over the virulent new strain of covid spreading in parts of England.
An agreement to reopen the UK-French border to allow accompanied freight services and some passenger services to resume between the two countries was reached last night.
Rail, air and sea services resumed this morning (December 23), with all people travelling from the UK into France required to show proof of a negative Coronavirus test taken within the previous 72 hours.
It means HGV drivers parked up at Manston airport and on routes to Dover can continue their journey if their test proves negative. Drivers with a positive test will have to isolate in hotel accommodation.
All lorry drivers, irrespective of nationality, require a lateral flow test. This can detect the new strain of COVID-19 and provide results in around 30-40 minutes, rather than the 24 hours required after a PCR test.
A pop up lateral flow testing facility is in place at Manston. Those on the M20 will be tested in situ. Testing is being supported by the military.
There are currently around 3,700 vehicles parked at the Manston airport site. Many more vehicles are parked in laybys coming out of Sandwich and by some of the villages on the route to Dover. More are queued on the M20, which is fully closed between junctions 8 and 9 for Operation Stack this evening.