New strain of virus shuts down cross-channel trade.
France has announced a 48-hour ban on British passengers and freight crossing the channel because of the new strain of coronavirus that is rampaging through the south-east of England, reports the Guardian this morning. Miles of lorries are queuing on the A20 on the way to Dover and significant congestion is expected at all ports in the south-east.
The snap travel ban is likely to disrupt the travel plans of thousands and the supply of goods to and from the continent. A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister will chair a Cobra meeting tomorrow to discuss the situation regarding international travel, in particular, the steady flow of freight into and out of the UK.”
The Road Haulage Association warns of “the devastating effect” of the trade ban on supply chains already groaning under the strain of Brexit and Christmas stockpiling, and it said Brittany Ferries has cancelled its crossings and P&O will only carry unaccompanied freight. With a ban on air travel from the UK now implemented by many countries, Britain’s woes are compounding by the day.