British official thanks Poland for help in testing drivers at Dover

Adam Warżawa/PAP

The British deputy foreign minister has expressed her gratitude to Poland for aid in conducting coronavirus tests on drivers waiting in Dover after France briefly closed its border with the UK and demanded such tests from all drivers.

"The UK is working with European partners to get hauliers in Kent back on the move. More than 15,000 tests have taken place & more than 8,000 HGVs are back over the Channel. Thank you to Poland which has deployed personnel to work with UK soldiers to administer tests," Wendy Morton, the Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Thousands of drivers were stranded in their trucks at the English port of Dover, lacking the coronavirus tests that France demands amid rising concern about a new, apparently more contagious, virus variant. France imposed a blockade on Dec. 20 following the discovery of the new coronavirus variant in England. The largest group among the stranded drivers are Poles.

The tests have been carried out with the help of the British army, French and Polish medical staff and Polish soldiers.