FRANCE has banned all journey to and from Britain together with freight because of the mutant Covid pressure — stoking fears of a breakdown in vaccine, meals and items provides over Christmas.
Boris Johnson will meet his emergency Cobra group on Monday to handle the 48-hour blockade ordered by President Emmanuel Macron.
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Britain faces delays to provides of the coronavirus vaccine and meals as a French ban on journey and freight transportation kicks inCredit score: (c) UkNewsinPictures
Operation Stack was applied on the M20 as a contingency measure following the French authorities’s banCredit score: (c) UkNewsinPictures
International locations all through Europe and elsewhere have imposed a journey ban on Briits
Supermarkets face main shortages of meals and Christmas items after France closed its UK border.
Lorry queues had been stretching seven miles to ports in each nations because the ban added to present worries over Christmas stockpiling and Brexit uncertainty.
The brand new mutant pressure inflicting the sudden ban is feared to be 70 per cent extra infectious.
An trade supply stated: “Simply while you thought it couldn’t get any worse — catastrophe on prime of catastrophe. I concern for grocery store provide chains.
“It’s the panic shopping for we’re most anxious about. The chains have held up all yr however provided that persons are smart.”
SUPPLY CHAIN FEARS
There have been additionally rising fears the blockade might disrupt important provides of the Pfizer Biotech vaccine to the UK which is made in Belgium.
Navy plane might airlift provides of the vaccine from Belgium if the freight ban stays in place for longer than 48 hours, The Division of Well being confirmed.
PM Boris Johnson has referred to as an emergency Cobra assembly of ministers and the army.
Tonight, a authorities spokesman stated it was anticipating “important disruption in Kent” after the French ban kicked in from 11pm.
A authorities spokesman stated: “Because of this we’re urging everyone – together with all hauliers – to keep away from travelling to Kent ports till additional discover.
“We’re working carefully with Kent Resilience Discussion board, Kent Council and Highways England to make sure contingency measures are urgently put in place to handle disruption, and the Prime Minister will chair a COBR assembly tomorrow to debate the scenario.”
Shortly afterwards, Operation Stack, the emergency measure to keep away from gridlock in Kent, kicked in alongside the coastbound M20, with the highway between junctions 8 and 11 closed to visitors.
Drivers had been stopped on the carriageway by cops as queues backed up Credit score: (c) UkNewsinPictures
Boris Johnson will chair an emergency Cobra assembly tomorrow to debate the ban on worldwide journeyCredit score: AFP
Passengers heading in direction of flights out of Gatwick on Sunday night timeCredit score: PA:Press Affiliation
Brits making an attempt to board flights at a packed Heathrow Airport earlier than the journey restrictions kick inCredit score: @EmmaEgan1
Lorries stacked up earlier than boarding the Eurotunnel at Folkestone earlier than it closed at 11pm on SundayCredit score: Reuters
Ministers have been making ready for months for border chaos from a potential No Deal Brexit and can carry ahead contingency plans.
EU states will talk about their response to the brand new virus pressure in a name this morning. It has now reportedly been present in Italy.
Germany, Holland, Belgium, Austria and Bulgaria had been additionally halting flights. Trains to Belgium had been suspended and Eire launched a 48-hour ban on travellers from midnight.
Ian Wright, of the Meals and Drink Federation, stated the suspension of freight visitors might trigger “critical disruption”.
He added: “Continental truckers won’t wish to journey right here in the event that they concern getting marooned.
“The Authorities should very urgently persuade the French authorities to exempt accompanied freight from its ban.”
Rod McKenzie, of the Street Haulage Affiliation, branded it a “hammer blow”.
France-based Brit Phil Williams tweeted: “Pity the poor sods caught in vehicles on the M20. What did they do fallacious?
“And all that stuff caught in Calais. Just a few empty cabinets in Waitrose methinks.”
One trucker wrote: “I’ve bought two vehicles in Dover, one was placed on the boat to Calais, the opposite has been instructed to go house. Some wonderful consistency there.”
The strikes got here as Brits raced right into a Christmas exodus to attempt to save their festivities.
In London, St Pancras Station was rammed with individuals determined to go to household.
Amid scenes later slammed by Well being Secretary Matt Hancock, commuter Harriet Clugston, who filmed the crowds, in contrast the scenes to the autumn of Saigon within the Vietnam Battle.
Instances within the UK are surging as the brand new Covid pressure rips via London and the South East
A Dartford council employee placing out very excessive risk degree Covid posters within the excessive avenueCredit score: London Information Photos
Travellers wait to board flights at Gatwick Airport amid a last-minute rush to succeed in locationsCredit score: PA:Press Affiliation
Police applied Operation Stack on the coastbound M20 in direction of Dover on Sunday night timeCredit score: (c) UkNewsinPictures
She tweeted: “Final prepare out of Saigon. Queue at St Pancras as we wait to board the Leeds-bound prepare. As anticipated, prepare is crammed.”
Eurostar rail tickets promote out in lower than an hour amid rumours of the French ban.
A 21-year-old engineering scholar making an attempt to journey house to Brussels stated the British authorities had “simply created chaos”.
The shock Tier 4 guidelines imposed on London and components of the South East imply persons are solely supposed to go away their areas for restricted causes — equivalent to for work, schooling or caring obligations.
Worldwide journey is equally restricted.
Inside an hour of Boris Johnson’s bombshell announcement on Saturday night, Londoners jumped into automobiles, taxis and even rental automobiles to flee town.
Roads such because the A40 clogged up and airports like Heathrow had been packed.
The Nationwide Police Chiefs’ Council instructed The Solar “blatant” rule-breakers would obtain fixed-penalty notices. Chief Martin Hewitt stated: “These restrictions will likely be upsetting for a lot of after a really difficult yr.
“However most individuals will wish to do what they will to guard public well being and the well being of their family members. We urge everybody to observe the foundations of their space.
“We’re assured that almost all of individuals will proceed to do their greatest to adapt and do the fitting factor.
“Those that blatantly ignore the rules ought to count on to obtain a hard and fast penalty discover.
Simply while you thought it couldn’t get any worse — catastrophe on prime of catastrophe. I concern for grocery store provide chains
Haulage trade supply
“Clear steerage will likely be developed for officers who’re policing these rules, and they’ll proceed to play their half in serving to the general public navigate and perceive adjustments of their space.”
British Transport Police revealed they had been boosting officer numbers throughout the southern transport community to make sure individuals had been making solely important journeys.
Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan stated his power’s policing technique “remained the identical” — with officers participating with passengers and allotting fines if “completely essential”.
The Met Police warned the “most harmful and flagrant breaches” of Tier 4 rules can be hit with penalties, tweeting: “Don’t danger a wonderful within the lead as much as Christmas.”
In Scotland, cops stated they might double their presence alongside the border after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon introduced a clampdown.
Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone stated “extremely seen patrols” on roads can be used to “deter anybody who may be contemplating breaching the coronavirus journey restrictions”.
There are fears the ban on UK freight might hit provides of the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine into BritainCredit score: Getty Photographs – Getty
Panic shopping for might escape with meals shortages at UK supermarkets, it’s fearedCredit score: Wales Information Service
In the meantime Mr Hancock instructed Brits pondering up their very own escaped plans to “unpack their luggage” and “limit social contact”.
Hinting that robust restrictions on motion can be in place for months to return, he warned that “in fact” police would implement the regulation and forestall individuals leaving Tier 4 areas.
Talking to Sophy Ridge on Sky, he stated of studies of the exodus: “This was clearly completely irresponsible behaviour. The Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty was completely clear that folks ought to unpack their luggage if they’ve them packed.
“I believe that it’s comparatively small numbers and the overwhelming majority of individuals within the pandemic have adopted the foundations and performed their half.
“It’s extra necessary than ever that persons are accountable — not solely follow the foundations however throughout the guidelines limit social contact as a lot as is feasible as a result of that is lethal critical.”
When he was later requested by the BBC’s Andrew Marr if police would forestall individuals from leaving Tier 4 areas, Mr Hancock insisted: “After all.
“I’ve spoken to the Dwelling Secretary [Priti Patel] and the British Transport Police’s accountability is to police the transport system.”
An preliminary ban would final till Britain leaves the EU on January 1, however the supply added Berlin is already “engaged on measures” to increase the flight ban past that date.
It comes after a German authorities official earlier instructed the DPA information company restrictions on flights had been a “critical possibility”.
Eire has additionally introduced related measures banning flights from the UK for the primary time in historical past.
Panic-buying consumers queued very first thing this morning outdoors Aldi in SouthamptonCredit score: w8media