As European governments imposed travel ban on the United Kingdom after the announcement of new strain of coronavirus, the European Union urged member states to lift the restrictions.
“Flight and train bans should be discontinued given the need to ensure essential travel and avoid supply chain disruptions,” the EU said.
British PM Boris Johnson spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron to lift the ban on freight as trucks piled up in hundreds of miles of rows on the French-UK border.
PM Johnson had declared on Saturday that new strain of coronavirus was “70 per cent more transmissible” as EU nations moved to ban travel to the country amid the faltering Brexit talks. There were reports of testing of truckers stranded at the border as France and Britain moved to break the deadlock at the border.
The United Kingdom is just nine days away from Brexit when it officially breaks from the EU on December 31 as British officials scamble to strike a last-minute deal. However, the discovery of the new virus strain has led to further problems for the UK already reeling under in a lockdown.
British shoppers meanwhile stripped shelves in some supermarkets of toilet roll, turkey, bread and vegetables as a food crisis loomed, even as UK government officials said there was no possibility of a food shortage.
UK supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury’s had earlier warned that food supplies would be affected if disruption at the border continued.
France had decided to impose a blanket ban on UK arrivals on Monday for 48 hours over the new strain of the virus even as EU countries instituted flight and train bans and Germany extended its ban until January 6, 2021.
Ireland on Tuesday also extended its air travel ban on travellers arriving from Britain to December 31 to curb the spread of the variant of coronavirus.