The question for many waiting is: will they make it home for Christmas?
Hundreds of truck drivers are stranded on the side of the road just north of the British port of Dover - the gateway to mainland Europe.
It's after much of the world shut its borders to Britain because of an even more infectious new strain of the coronavirus.
Stanislaw Olbrich from Poland says it's starting to look unlikely he'll make it home in time for the holidays.
"I have three children, a wife, and they need me to come for Christmas. Christmas in Poland is a very special holiday, it is combined with religion and it's traditional. For Polish people it is very hard to be away on Christmas, so this situation costs me... it's very hard."
Europe has closed its borders to UK freight and passengers for 48 hours, with drivers told to stay away from crossing points in southeast England.
Coincidentally it's also the hotbed of the COVID variant.
France says it aims to establish a protocol to restart traffic.