Thirty-six truck drivers who were stranded in the English county of Kent after the French government temporarily banned all passenger and human-accompanied freight transport from the United Kingdom have tested positive for COVID-19, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Saturday, APA reports citing Sputnik.
"Update on Kent lorry situation: 15,526 Coronavirus tests now carried out. Just 36 positive results, which are being verified (0.23%)," Shapps wrote on Twitter.
Thousands of trucks were directed to Manston Airport, a former military base and civilian airfield, after the French government issued an initial 48-hour ban on accompanied freight transport from the UK that began this past Monday. The ban followed the discovery of a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 in southeast England.
After the ban expired, the French government partially reopened the border, and the UK government launched a mass testing campaign in order to ease the backlog and allow drivers who tested negative for COVID-19 to cross the English Channel to France.
Shapps added that Manston Airport was now cleared of trucks.
Many European countries have issued a temporary ban on flights to and from the UK following the discovery of the new coronavirus strain, which is believed to be more easily transmissible.