The HGV queue at Manston airport is now cleared with hauliers told to no longer head for the site.
As of last night (December 25) 4,500 trucks had made the crossing to France.
Some 15,526 tests have been administered and of those 36 were positive. Those drivers are isolating at the Holiday Inn hotel in Rochester.
The site, managed by the Department for Transport and former land owners Stone Hill Park, is cleared according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Update on Kent lorry situation: 15,526 #Coronavirus tests now carried out. Just 36 positive results, which are being verified (0.23%).
Manston now empty and lorries should no longer head there please. pic.twitter.com/RPBC5Rsd2C
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) December 26, 2020
Emergency services, Army personnel, Coastguard, local authority staff, security, marshalling and other staff at Manston, NHS test teams, French firefighters and Polish doctors, diagnosticians, nurses and paramedics were all drafted in to get the hauliers home following the closure and then reopening of the border with France.
Thanks to all the hauliers in #Kent for their patience & to everyone on the ground working tirelessly to help after the French border was suddenly closed.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) December 25, 2020
A huge local effort also mobilised to make sure truckers at Manston, Dover and on the M20 had food, water and hygiene items, including deliveries from individuals, clubs and businesses and members of the Polish and Romanian communities in the UK.
So pleased most of the driver are making there way home today! We set them up with a nice buffet breakfast this morning…
The Port of Dover, working with sister ports in France, ferry operators and both the French and UK border agencies mobilised to ensure the port has remained open throughout Christmas. It will not shut and will keep operating as staff continue the work to get everyone on their way home.
Officers from across the county continue to work tirelessly with other forces, partner agencies
and travel operators throughout Christmas Day to help resolve disruption and get people home to their families.@sussex_police @NHSTestTrace @Port_of_Dover#teamwork #thankyou pic.twitter.com/ojvatpdePP
— Kent Police (UK) (@kent_police) December 25, 2020
As of yesterday evening (December 24) there were 2,800 vehicles at the airport – down from the 3,800 capacity at the height of the backlog.
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.
It reopened Wednesday and a huge effort has since taken place to get upwards of 8,000 stranded hauliers back on their journey home.
Approach roads into Dover are clear, the buffer zone is in use with authorities carrying out Covid tests. There are currently still large queues on the M20 with Covid testing also taking place here
— P&O Ferries Freight (@POFerriesFR8) December 26, 2020
Queueing remains on the M20 with around 1,600 vehicles still waiting to cross but is being gradually cleared.