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Another fine mess for Kent … but it could have been avoided

December 21, 2020 11:14 AM
By Rob Bird, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at Kent County Council
Originally published by Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

For the past 6 months Kent's Liberal Democrats have been calling for Covid tests for all drivers arriving in Kent from Europe, or better still, before they depart. Back in May our calls were dismissed. M20 Lorry Park

Ironically, there is now a strong likelihood that the French and Belgian authorities will insist on drivers being tested for Covid before they travel to Europe. The Government is under acute pressure to set up rapid testing units for drivers heading to Dover and the Channel Tunnel. All within the next 24 hours.

None of this is straightforward. Operating procedures take more than a few hours to establish. The local Public Health teams will need to agree protocols with their Belgian and French counterparts for the interpretation of test results. And arrangements will need to be put in place to provide secure accommodation for any driver testing positive.

The Government could have done this before now for both inbound and outbound drivers. Instead, we find ourselves in another fine mess.