Britain is sending extra troops to Dover to clear the truck queues

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© Reuters. A Royal Air Force helicopter flies over the port of Dover

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DOVER, England (Reuters) – The UK dispatched additional military personnel to the port of Dover (NYSE 🙂 on Friday to clear the truck queues after cross-channel driving resumed for drivers who test negative for COVID-19.

Ferry connections between Dover and the French port of Calais resumed on Thursday and ended several days after a blockade imposed by France after a new variant of the coronavirus was discovered in England.

On Friday, a public holiday, traffic moved slowly through the harbor. Most of the trucks were parked farther up the freeway as drivers waited for tests before boarding the cross-channel ferries.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Twitter on Friday that more than 10,000 coronavirus tests have been carried out on truck drivers and only 24 of them tested positive.

Soldiers checked vehicles and driver documents at the entrance of the port, and French officials in Dover, trying to clean up the residue, saw them administer a nasal swab to a driver.

Another 800 British troops have now been deployed to the port, in addition to the 300 originally deployed, British media reported.

The French and British governments have agreed to end the blockade late Tuesday, but it is expected to take days for the long lines of trucks to clear, British authorities said.

Since France reopened its border, more than 700 hauliers have been cleared for departure, the BBC reported.

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