Lorry drivers arriving in UK have to take Covid test from TODAY to stop mutant strains
6th April 2021

LORRY drivers arriving in the UK have to take a Covid test from today to stop mutant strains entering the country.

The new coronavirus rules mean hauliers travelling to England from outside Britain for visits lasting more than two days will be tested.

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Secretary Grant Shapps said hauliers, including drivers and crew of heavy goods vehicles, will need to be tested within 48 hours of arriving and then every three days.

Mr Shapps tweeted: "This is to ensure we keep track of any future Coronavirus Variants of Concern."

Drivers who stay less than 48 hours are exempt from the testing regime.

Lorry drivers will have to fill out locator forms so Border Force officials can check if they have overstayed.

Anyone who fails to take a test will be fined up to Ā£2,000.

It comes as:

  • Boris Johnson warns Covid cases WILL rise & urges Brits to get jabs
  • AstraZeneca Covid vaccine ā€˜could be blocked for under-30sā€™Ā 
  • Everything that will reopen on April 12, May 17 and June 21
  • Covid-hit businesses can get up to Ā£10m in government-backed loans
  • Twice-weekly Covid tests slammed as ā€˜beyond recklessā€™ by scientists

It comes as cases surge across Europe, with one in ten infections in France linked to the South Africa strain, which experts fears is more resistant to vaccines.

South African and Brazilian variants, both of which are more resistant to vaccines, now account for 40 per cent of new cases in some areas of France, according to data shown to ministers.

Meanwhile, there are fears that Covid strains could be entering the UK from France as 68 per cent of travellers are exempt from quarantine.

Boris Johnson is reportedly facing growing pressure from his SAGE advisers to enforce tougher border controls on our European neighbours.

Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer, and his deputy Jonathan Van-Tam are said to be ā€œvery concernedā€ because most people travelling from France do not have to quarantine, The Times reports.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is sticking to his step-by-step plan for unlocking the UK economy – with the next restrictions easing in a matter of days.

TESTING TIMES

It began by sending kids back to school on March 8 and the return of the Rule of Six on March 29 – and pubs and hairdressers are opening up next.

Last night the PM outlined more steps to come, as he confirmed what will be allowed from April 12.

He said the success of the vaccine rollout is to thank for getting Covid under control and Britain back on the road to recovery from the pandemic.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference last night, he said: "I can today confirm that from Monday 12 April we will move to step two of our roadmap reopening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday camp sites, hairdressers and beer gardens, and outdoor hospitality of all kinds.

"And on Monday 12, I will be going to the pub myself and cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips."

Boris also hailed a new mass testing blitz offered to everyone in England as the way to end the lockdown.

Under the plan, twice-weekly free rapid Covid test will be available by Friday.

People will be able to collect or order batches of their free Covid tests – which provide results in just minutes – whether they have symptoms or not.

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