December 23, 2020
UPDATE: 23rd December
Rail, air and sea operations are to re-open between France and the United Kingdom. An estimated 3,000 drivers and trucks have been awaiting the crossing at Dover port to re-open. The border will re-open and passengers allowed to cross subject to a negative COVID-19 test for French nationals, hauliers and British citizens living in France. The first trucks have begun to depart the UK.
How quickly the backlog is cleared is dependent on the rate at which the Coronavirus tests can be rolled out to the awaiting drivers. It is reported that approximately 10,000 lorries per day use the Dover-Calais crossing during the festive season.
It is reported that 50 countries still have travel bans in place with the United Kingdom due to the discovery of the Coronavirus variant that appears to spread infection rapidly.
The Netherlands has also announced that the travel ban will be lifted subject to a negative COVID test.
The Brexit transition period comes to an end in just eight days. Delays are expected due to the increase in customs procedures. Crane Worldwide's Brexit portal has all the information you need and is regularly updated with all the latest information, reach out if you need support.
UPDATE: 22nd December
The BBC has reported that the United Kingdom and France are making plans to restart freight traffic, but the opening of the border may not come into effect until Wednesday. The latest figures report that over 1500 trucks are awaiting in Kent for the border to reopen.
Almost every EU state has stopped travel by air into the United Kingdom.
Germany has restricted travel to both the United Kingdom and South Africa due to the new variant of the Coronavirus.Department head Jens Spahn of the CDU says this is being done "as a precautionary measure" until more is known about the reported coronavirus mutations in both countries.
In Ireland, it is reported that around 250 Irish hauliers who would ordinarily be using the landbridge are impacted by the border closures. Cabinet has agreed that travel restrictions from Britain to Ireland will remain in place until 31 December.
In the Netherlands, an embargo has been placed by some airlines into both Ireland and the UK on all new bookings.
Italy has suspended all flights from UK until 6 January (and by default also to UK). Excluded cargo and flights related to the sanitary emergency
Road services is also a challenge not only due to the travel ban but also due to uncertainty over Brexit.
Any person who has been in the UK in the last 14 days cannot enter Italy (those already present must communicate to the health authorities and have a test)
In the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong on Monday also closed its borders to travelers from Britain, saying all passenger flights from the country would be barred starting at midnight. The ban will be extended for the first time to Hong Kong residents. Some cargo flights are still operational.
The Indian government has suspended all flights between India and Britain until Dec. 31, and said all travellers who had been in Britain would be tested upon arrival starting Tuesday.
In the Middle East, Israel’s government decided to close borders and let only passengers with special permits, such as diplomats, to enter the country.
Oman - Starting December 22, 2020, Oman’s land, air and sea borders will be shut for one week. The decision exempts cargo flights.
Kuwait - From 11pm on December 21, 2020, Kuwait suspended all international flights until January 1, 2020. Only cargo operations will continue, according to the government communications office. On December 20, 2020, the civil aviation authority in Kuwait added the UK to its high-risk list of countries and banned all the flights from it.
Saudi Arabia - On December 21, 2020, Saudi Arabia banned all international flights and suspended entry to the country via all its land and sea borders for at least a week with the possibility to extend the restrictions by another week. Only the movement of goods from countries where the new COVID-19 strain has not appeared will be allowed.
Interior Ministry announced that foreign flights already in the country would be able to leave. Passengers who arrived from European countries or any other country where cases of the new strain were reported, are required to self-isolate for the two-week-long period as well as undergo the COVID-19 testing.
As stated in the latest update from the UK Government on Saturday, a new variant of the Coronavirus has been detected in the United Kingdom that appears to spread infection rates at a faster pace.
In reaction to the update, many countries have begun to close their borders with the United Kingdom, both passenger flights and ferries have been impacted to and from the United Kingdom. The latest figures as announced by the BBC is that more than 40 countries have banned UK arrivals 'because of the new variant of the Coronavirus'. This is including: Canada; Germany; France; Netherlands; Norway; Irish Republic;Turkey and most recently India has announced that flights will cease to the UK from Tuesday evening until the 31st December.
On Sunday evening, France announced the closure of it's border with the United Kingdom for 48 hours, impacting trucking, rail via the channel tunnel and ferries in addition to air transportation.
Saudi Arabia has temporarily closed all its air, land and sea borders stopping all international flights with the exception of emergency use.
As quoted by The Loadstar 'CEO of UK Major Ports Group Tim Morris said the situation was “clearly serious”, but noted that the UK had not been “cut off from Europe entirely”, with roughly two-thirds of freight moved unaccompanied.'
European Union member states are currently meeting in Brussels to discuss a co-ordinated response and the United Kingdom government is holding a crisis meeting this morning.
The team at Crane Worldwide are here to help, reach out if you need support should your supply chain be impacted.
The time critical team in the United Kingdom can support your urgent air freight requirements for your shipments.