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France travel restrictions: What the Port of Dover looked like as quarantine-free travel finally resumed

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Original article from Kent Live

The Port of Dover has been pictured looking almost empty as quarantine-free travel returns to France.

Highways authorities had previously feared the worst, spending £196,000 putting up concrete barriers on the M20 in the middle of July.

They'd said the decision to implement Operation Brock – a contraflow system that allows lorries to queue on the coastbound side – was taken due to the return of quarantine-free travel.

Read more: The secret Dover beaches deserted on a hot summer's day

That was despite France remaining on the amber-plus list at the time.

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Traffic remained clear in the event – and the M20 was closed again to remove the barriers last weekend.

France travel restrictions were then removed, with the first arrivals on Eurostar taking place on Sunday morning (August 8).

And Dover's port looked remarkably quiet when MyDover visited yesterday (August 9)

Check-in lanes were completely empty at points

At one point there was a small line of tourist traffic at the check-in lanes, but minutes later they were completely empty again.

Boarding lanes within the port also showed freight traffic massively outnumbering tourist traffic.

There wasn't much tourist traffic in the boarding lanes either

Just a handful of non-freight vehicles were waiting to board at most berths.

The removal of travel restrictions means that anyone who has received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine no longer has to self-isolate when they return.

Anyone who is unvaccinated needs a negative test result and a certificate providing a compelling reason to travel.

It comes shortly after a new ferry called The Côte d’Opale – the largest operating on the English Channel – had its maiden voyage last week.

In less positive news for the Dover to Calais route, the future looks bleak for foot passenger services.

Previously people had been able to make their way to the port by train, foot or bus and then catch a special bus onto P&O Ferries.

But the ferry operator suspended the service during the pandemic.

When MyDover asked if rumours the service would be cancelled indefinitely, P&O would only say that it was "under review".

Original Article