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Lorry drivers heading for Dover may be fined £150 for entering Kent without a negative Covid-19 test

Lorry drivers may be fined for arriving in Kent without having a negative Covid test.

It is to prevent traffic snarl-ups on the UK/EU border.

Fines may be used to prevent queue build-ups at Dover. Library picture: Sam Lennon
Fines may be used to prevent queue build-ups at Dover. Library picture: Sam Lennon

The Department for Transport has confirmed to KentOnline that it is considering a £150 penalty, similar to that for not having a Kent Access Permit when entering the county.

Officials say that will only happen if it's considered necessary due to high levels of trucks entering Kent without the right test.

They say they have been working with key stakeholders on how to use existing Brexit legislation to do this.

The demand is to have had a negative coronavirus test within the previous 72 hours.

A DfT spokesman said: “Hauliers looking to cross the Channel should take their Covid-19 test before they enter Kent to help traffic flow.

The Port of Dover
The Port of Dover

“While we’re pleased many hauliers have heeded our calls to use 34 testing sites we’ve set up across the country, too many are still entering Kent without having taken a test and received a negative result.

"With traffic volumes expected to grow over the coming week, we are considering stronger measures to ensure flow.

“We welcome views from industry on how a new potential fine can best be introduced, but if hauliers continue to ignore the requirement to get a negative test before entering Kent, then fines may become necessary.”

Britain completely left the European Union on New Year's Eve and there are fears of eventual tailbacks to places like the Port of Dover because of the resulting extra paperwork.

France is now demanding that nobody enters its country without having had a negative Covid test in the previous 72 hours.

Walls of vehicles left trapped in Dover after December's border closure. Picture: Sam Lennon
Walls of vehicles left trapped in Dover after December's border closure. Picture: Sam Lennon

Dover is already prone to port-bound traffic chaos for various reasons.

But last month pandemonium was caused when the French completely shut their borders to keep out a new variant of the virus that had emerged from Kent.

It led to drivers being stranded outside the port for days.

The frontier was reopenedon condition that those coming to France had a negative result.

Even without Brexit and coronavirus port-bound traffic can be affected by strikes in Calais or severe weather disrupting ferry services.

The Road Haulage Association has been contacted to comment on the possible £150 fines.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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