Published: 22:01, 20 December 2020
| Updated: 22:17, 20 December 2020
Christmas fresh food supplies could be disrupted by the French travel ban, it was warned tonight.
Freight and passenger traffic is banned from entering France for the next 48 hours after emergency restrictions were imposed.
Ian Wright, boss of the Food and Drink Federation, warned: "Tonight’s suspension of accompanied freight traffic from the UK to France has the potential to cause serious disruption to UK Christmas fresh food supplies and exports of UK food and drink.
"Continental truckers will not want to travel here if they have a real fear of getting marooned. The Government must very urgently persuade the French government to exempt accompanied freight from its ban.”
The federation represents the UK's food and non-alcoholic drinks manufacturing industry.
Mr Wright said the Government must urgently persuade the French to lift the transport ban,
Boris Johnson will chair an emergency Cobra meeting tomorrow amid fears Kent's road network will be gridlocked after passenger and freight traffic was barred from entering France for the next 48 hours.
The Prime Minister and his top advisors will discuss how to deal with problems which could see thousands of vehicles at a standstill.
France's decision came a little more than 24 hours after the Prime Minister plunged Kent and much of south east England into even stricter lockdown measures, with international travel prohibited for people in the Tier 4 areas.
This evening, authorities in Paris announced the temporary pause on travel across the Channel - which it will put a halt to lorries as well as people.
Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted: "Given the new health risk, and pending its assessment, all flows of people from the United Kingdom to France are suspended from midnight tonight, for 48 hours, and for all means of transport."
France has also said it will require all its citizens attempting to re-enter from the UK to have a Covid test first.