Hundreds of Dutch truck drivers stuck in the UK upon Eurotunnel closure
Hundreds of Dutch truck drivers are estimated to be stuck in the United Kingdom. This is due to the travel restrictions imposed after a new, more infectious strain of the coronavirus was identified there. Transport and Logistics Netherlands (TLN) reported this.
As France has decided to close its border with the UK, many truck drivers have been unable to reach the European continent. “Many drivers are in long traffic jams in front of the ferries and the channel tunnel,” says a TLN spokesperson. Together with the Dutch Federation of Trade Unions (FNV), they are urging the cabinet to take action so that the drivers can be back home before Christmas.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said discussions were underway between the UK and France “to find a resolution” to France’s border closure. France’s Europe minister Clément Beaune said any plans would be agreed upon by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron and would come into effect from Wednesday. Patel said potentially testing truck drivers at ports was “part of the discussions that the transport secretary is having with his counterpart in France right now” and added that “getting those tests up and running can happen relatively quickly.”
The NOS reports that “in any case, we know that the measures concern trade between the two countries, but there is also still a lot unclear. We do not yet know what it means for the ex-pats.” It is also not yet known what the measures mean for Dutch truck drivers.
According to TLN, around 10,000 trucks go through the Eurotunnel and ferries from Dover, the UK, to Calais, France on a regular day. That tunnel has now been closed since Sunday. France is only allowing unaccompanied loads without drivers. Ferry services from the United Kingdom, too, are no longer allowed to transport people.