The government has revealed more locations where hauliers heading to France can be tested for Coronavirus.
Over the weekend, transport secretary Grant Shapps announced 20 new sites, with more to come this week. The move is designed to prevent or limit disruption in Kent, as drivers prepare to cross the channel.
As part of the plans, military personnel will be deployed at 10 of the sites to assist with testing.
Hauliers will be tested using lateral flow devices that provide results within the hour. Armed Forces have experience with these items, having used them for mass testing in Liverpool, Merthyr Tydfil and Medway.
The government is also offering help to businesses who wish to set up test sites at their own premises. Under this initiative – supported by the Department of Heath and Social Care – testing kits are provided free of charge.
Trucks at Dover’s port or the Eurotunnel terminal will be fast-tracked if they’ve been tested prior to arrival.
“We have made incredible progress in clearing the queues of drivers,” said Shapps. “If we are to keep traffic flowing in Kent, it is essential drivers are tested before they travel down to the area.”
Shapps added the need for a Kent Access Permit before heading to the border. “These new testing centres both at service stations and inside businesses will help reduce delays,” he promised.
Staff at the sites can provide guidance on new border processes after EU transition. They will also check whether drivers have all the right paperwork to ensure a smooth entrance into the EU.