Truck drivers stuck in Dover angry and confused

“Don’t touch me!”

Was the call of truck drivers clashing with police at the English port of Dover.

Tensions have escalated as thousands of frustrated drivers remain stranded after France closed off its border to stop the spread of a new highly infectious variant of the coronavirus.

Paris and London agreed late on Tuesday (December 22) that drivers carrying a negative COVID-19 test result could board ferries for Calais.

The British government said testing has now started but with severe delays,

Leaving drivers frustrated and confused.

"I don't know what's going on. The police will tell you what's going on. All we want is to move from the roundabout, let these people come out and 'bye bye', 'goodnight'. Four nights here, another four nights here. We've been sleeping here for the last four nights."

Many of the mostly European drivers have been stranded with their trucks without access to hot food or bathroom facilities.

They’ve grown increasingly angry as it became clear they may not get home in time for Christmas with their families.

The plan to get them home is through rapid testing.

Anyone with a positive result will take a more comprehensive PCR test, which takes longer to get a result.

And anyone testing positive again will be given a hotel room to isolate.

But drivers like Stella from Bulgaria are confused on where or how to get this done.

“We are still here because they asked for a PCR test for COVID-19 and we don't have anywhere to do that. We made an appointment to go to the airport to take a test, but I think it's now the roads are closed and if we go we can't come back...We don't have anything to eat, we don't have drink, we don't have anything. Nobody don't care about us."

The Road Haulage Association estimated there were up to 10,000 trucks being held up in Kent.

It said the situation was chaos as the testing system was not yet ready.