France lets some UK cargo, people in; huge backlog remains | World

British Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said around 4,000 trucks may be waiting in the southern county of Kent and urged other truckers not to head there until the backlog is cleared. It will take “a few days” to test all the drivers before they can travel to France, he said.

“Whatever the number is, whether it is 4,000 or more, it is a significant number to work through,” Jenrick said.

Calais is a major conduit for trade and travel between Britain and the continent, and France had argued that the blockade was necessary in order to work out safety measures to protect European citizens.

The French travel restrictions had angered and worried many in the U.K. because the nation relies heavily on its cross-Channel commercial links to the continent for food at this time of year, especially for fruit and fresh produce.

Dozens of other countries in Europe and beyond are continuing to bar travellers coming from the U.K. Japan announced Wednesday that it will reinstate entry ban on most new arrivals from Britain.

Eurostar passenger train traffic was also resuming from Britain to the continent Wednesday, but only for citizens of Europe’s border-free zone, British citizens with EU residency and those with a special reason to come to the continent temporarily, such as truckers.

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