The UK Government has set up Covid-19 testing points at 10 of its Brexit information advice sites, allowing van and lorry drivers to get tested at different locations throughout the country before they travel to France.
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the creation of the new testing locations on Saturday; more are expected to open in the coming days.
In addition, to help hauliers cross the Channel as quickly as possible, the government say it is offering to help any business to set up a testing centre at its own premises to ensure trucks heading for France depart ‘COVID ready’.
The Department of Health and Social Care will support this, including the provision of testing kits entirely free of charge, and any business able to take advantage of this offer is urged to do so to avoid the risk of delays waiting for tests either in Kent or at the public sites.
Commenting on the new sites, Grant Shapps stressed the need for drivers to be prepared with a negative Covid-19 test and a Kent Access permit before entering Kent on the way to France:
As a result of the heroic efforts of hundreds of military and civilian personnel who have worked hard over the past 10 days, we have made incredible progress in clearing the queues of drivers left stranded as a result of the French government’s actions. If we are to keep traffic flowing in Kent, it is essential drivers are tested before they travel down to the area and that they have a Kent Access Permit before heading to the border, and these new testing centres both at service stations and inside businesses, will help reduce delays.
The UK Department for Transport say tests will be available at the information advice sites the government has set up for hauliers around the country, originally aimed at providing advice about the requirements for travelling to the continent after leaving the EU. Military personnel will now be at hand at 10 of these sites to conduct coronavirus tests.
The list of sites with up and running coronavirus testing points is as follows:
- Carlisle Stobart truck stop
- Doncaster North services
- Donington Park services
- Peterborough services
- Reading Eastbound services
- Rugby Stobart truck stop
- Sutton Scotney southbound services
- Tamworth services
- Watford Gap southbound services
- Wetherby services
More information advice sites will offer coronavirus tests soon. You can keep track of which sites offer testing here.