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Truckers Forced To Spend Boxing Day In Cabs With More Arriving Every Hour

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Truckers Forced To Spend Boxing Day In Cabs With More Arriving Every Hour

Thousands of lorry drivers will be spending Boxing Day in their cabs after the border to France was temporarily closed in response to the new strain of the coronavirus.

Up to 5,000 drivers spent Christmas Day in queues and it's believed there are more arriving every single hour.

Though the border has since reopened, lorry drivers require a negative coronavirus test to enter France from Dover, Kent.

Manston Airport in Kent on Christmas Day. Credit: Splash News
Manston Airport in Kent on Christmas Day. Credit: Splash News
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Testing the backlog of lorry drivers has proven to be a lengthy and complicated process.

Soldiers were brought in to start carrying out the tests and speed things up. HGVs finally started to move last night.

Taking to Twitter, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps thanked hauliers for their patience.

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He went on to add that the Ministry of Defence would continue working to keep things moving.

France closed its border last Sunday (20 December) after the fast-spreading new strain of the coronavirus was discovered. Now drivers that are entering France from the UK must have proof of a negative result in the past 72 hours.

In response to the queues, a Sikh congregation and their local community prepared 3,500 meals to support the drivers stuck in Dover.

International humanitarian organisation Khalsa Aid teamed up with Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend to distribute the free meals.

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People at Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend have been working to prepare food for stranded lorry driver. Credit: Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Gravesend
People at Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend have been working to prepare food for stranded lorry driver. Credit: Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Gravesend

Speaking to LADbible about the incredible gesture, Jagdev Singh Virdee, General Secretary at the Gurdwara, said he and others just wanted to help.

"It was an entire community effort," Jagdev said. "We also had the National Sikh Police Association, which has members in all police forces, who helped make links with Kent Police for a police escort to actually take the food all the way past the lorries and so on, to where it needed to be.

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"So it was it was very much an all-round effort between various organisations."

Credit: Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Gravesend
Credit: Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Gravesend

He continued: "At the Gurdwara we're fairly well equipped to produce food at a large scale. It's part of our Langar service - Gurdwaras have a Langar, which is like a community kitchen where everybody cooks and eats together.

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"Everybody's welcome to join that, and it's part of this concept of Wand Ke Chakna, which means to share with others who may be in need.

"So we're always geared up - during the first lockdown for example we were delivering to vulnerable people and to the NHS. We delivered about 64,000 meals altogether, so at the peak it was about 1,000 meals a day."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News, UK

Rebecca Shepherd
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