The first trucks haul ferries to British ports.

The first trucks started a boarding ferry at the port of Dover to cross the English Channel again on Thursday, taking a major step to clear the logjam in freight traffic more than 24 hours after France. Ban lifted Fears were raised about a type of virus circulating in Britain.

Traffic remained slow on Thursday morning, as truck drivers would have to show evidence of a negative coronavirus test before boarding the ferry.

The sudden border closure has caused thousands of Europe-bound trucks stuck in and around Dover, a low crossing to France that has an important trade link with Europe, and has been waiting in their rigs for several days. British Transport Secretary Grant Shaps said it could take several days to clear the blockages British Broadcasting Corporation. The BBC said about 6,000 trucks remained in the area, of which 4,000 were parked at an airport, which has been converted into a holding area.

Ferries working to get freight and drivers in continental Europe will leave on Christmas and Boxing Day, Mr. Shaps said, Stating that military and liaison personnel were working with French firefighters who conducted 10,000 trials in Dover to clear the backlog from border closures. Trying to assimilate earlier concerns that some drivers may be trapped before the Christmas holiday, Mr. Schaaps said France’s borders at Eurotunline, Dover and Calas, help Christmas and Huliers return home through Christmas. Will be open from

A spokesman for the Port of Dover said the test was now fully mobilized at the port and airport. She said that about 100 freight vehicles entered the port on Wednesday night, and many should join them today, as the port attempts to clear the backlog as soon as possible.

A yacht company, P&O Ferries, Said Thursday morning that the area remained a “heavy gridlock”, noting that a road to the port was still blocked, but that the cargo was released from the first convoy A holding area in Manston, England during the night. He said that officers were working to enhance testing capabilities, and the pier was scheduled to depart. Authorities have not already warned truck drivers in the Dover area to avoid the area.

Several organizations, including the British branch of the Salvation Army and the Khalsa Aid, said they had Hundreds of prepared meals To feed stranded truck drivers.

Ravinder Singh, chief executive officer of Khalsa Aid, an NGO formed to provide humanitarian aid in disaster-hit areas, is distributing food to stranded truck drivers. He said that many people were eager to return home, and were asking when they would get the exam.

“It’s like a horror film,” he said. “We just want them to go home to their families for Christmas.”

Khalsa Aid has already distributed 1,800 meals since Monday and plans to hand over more than 3,500 on Thursday – many who would otherwise be celebrating Christmas Eve with their families. “Many of them won’t make it tonight,” Mr. Singh said.

In other developments around the world:

  • Austria Ski hills were allowed to open on Thursday, but all skiers were required to be 14 years old and to wear respirator masks in older areas and while riding the carousel. Hotels, restaurants and bars remain closed. The huts on Ski Hill are not allowed to sell any food or drink, and elevators can only run at half capacity. Skiing is a national pastime in Austria, where children learn to stand on skis as soon as they can walk and professional skiers celebrate national heroes. But with elevators opening only to Austrians, and operators already suffering losses in a year where tourism has fallen by more than a third, not all areas will be open. Austria is reducing its lockdown for the Christmas holiday starting Thursday, removing curfew at night and allowing 10 people from 10 different homes to meet. On Saturday, the ban will tighten again through mid-January. The nation of 8.8 million people reported 2,131 new cases of infection on Thursday.

  • China A Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday that Britain would stop direct flights indefinitely on concerns of contagious form spreading there. China has barred non-travelers from Belgium, Britain, France, India and the Philippines since November, but has kept its borders open to Chinese citizens, including students studying in those countries.

  • A week after that First tested positive for coronovirus, President Emmanuel Macron France According to a statement from his office released on Thursday, he no longer has symptoms and has stopped isolating himself. During his quarantine, Mr. Macron presents typical features of Kovid-19 Such as fatigue, cough and pain. For the past week, Daily updates on Mr. Macron’s status Issued to the public – by Mr. Macron himself, by his personal physician or through the official statements of the éelysée Palace – a departure from France’s tradition of secrecy around the health of its presidents.

Melissa Eddy, Tiffany May, Constant Mehet and Ash Nelson contributed reporting.

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