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Lorry drivers queue at Folkestone's walk-through Covid test site


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Stuck lorry drivers have come to Folkestone in an attempt to get a Covid-19 test before they can leave the country.

Thousands of drivers have been stranded in Kent since Sunday when the border into France was closed due to fears over the "out of control" new coronavirus strain.

Lorries have turned up in Cheriton as drivers attempt to get a Covid test
Lorries have turned up in Cheriton as drivers attempt to get a Covid test

The roads leading into Dover are now gridlocked as they wait to make their way across the Channel.

The ban was lifted last night but drivers must test negative at a huge pop up testing site at Manston Airport before they make the trip.

This has led to protests at Manston and tension in Dover.

But overnight, drivers made their way to Cheriton, where a new walk-in Covid-19 test centre was set up by the Department of Health earlier this month.

Appointments must be made in advance at the centre.

The drivers have apparently been turned away
The drivers have apparently been turned away

But Church Road is now clogging up with the foreign-registered light goods vehicles.

Some have also been parked up on the Shorncliffe Heights estate since 2am, and resident's driveways are being blocked.

Complaints have been made about noise.

Drivers are reportedly queueing up outside the site hoping to get a test so they can prove they are negative and continue their journey.

A witness heard a manager telling the drivers: "You won't be able to get a test today - you can try Canterbury but you won't get a test there either."

The lorries arrived overnight
The lorries arrived overnight

Another witness said it was causing 'mayhem'.

They said: "They are refusing to move their vehicles to let us out to do our job.

"The men are urinating up the side of their lorries which is not something you want to see when you draw your curtains in the morning."

One Facebook user added: "Feel sorry for the poor HGV drivers trying to get home.

"If this is the only way for them I’m all for it. It’s difficult time and we all need to do our part.

"A couple of noisy nights isn’t going to harm anyone but these tests are a life saver."

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