France has reportedly announced a 48-hour ban on freight and passengers entering into its territory from the United Kingdom. According to a number 10 spokesperson, UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a Cobra meeting for addressing the constant flow of freight into and out of the country, amid expected substantial disruption at ports in the south-east.
Grant Shapps, the UK transport secretary, had reportedly warned of considerable disruption following the enforcement of the snap travel ban that was announced on Sunday night. Further, owing to the announcement from France, Kent police carried out Operation Stack, where trucks will be queued between junctions 8 and 11 of the M20, southbound, to essentially avoid gridlocks on the roads of the nation.
In his further tweets, Shapps stated that France will not allow any passengers coming from the United Kingdom for the succeeding 48 hours following this announcement. The UK is requesting people and especially the freight haulers to avoid travel to Kent ports or other ways to France. Additionally, the transport department is urgently working with Kent Council and Highways England on contingency measures for the purpose of minimizing traffic disorganization in the area, added Shapps.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has also warned of the devastating impact of the ban on supply chains that are currently under pressure from Christmas and Brexit stockpiling. The RHA, on Sunday, stated that Brittany Ferries could not take outbound traffic for long, however inbound traffic during these hours stayed unaffected. Further, P&O was permitting ‘unaccompanied only’ loads from Dover to Calais, but the return route was functioning as normal.
With regards to the issue, Cold Chain Federation, a logistics company, called on the authorities for considering the effect of the delays of drivers who might have got stuck for days. The decision will first and foremost affect hundreds of drivers, stated Shane Brennan, Cold Chain’s Chief Executive, insisting that the authorities on all sides should think about their welfare above everything else.