Published: 08:29, 22 February 2021
| Updated: 16:56, 22 February 2021
Lorry drivers who have spent less than 48 hours in the UK will from today no longer have to get a coronavirus test when they return to France.
It follows an announcement from the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, as a result of discussions with French authorities and cross-channel operators.
Instead, the ferry and Eurotunnel operators will give drivers evidence of the time of their trip to the UK which they will need to show at check-in for the return journey.
It is likely to lead to a significant scaling down of activity at Manston where the lorry driver testing facility was established in December following a travel ban by the French Government.
At its peak, 4,000 lorries were parked on the former runway as drivers waited for a negative test before being allowed to Dover to cross.
It led to ugly scenes between lorry drivers police and officials at Manston and Dover over the delays and the lack of facilities.
The army was drafted in to speed up the process but hundreds of lorries have still been arriving daily for drivers to be tested and processed.
But with most foreign drivers spending less than 48 hours in the UK, that is expected to drop dramatically as drivers head directly to Dover without having to make the detour to Manston.