Panic-buyers queue from 5.50am as ports chaos puts festive meal in jeopardy


Customers commenced queueing at supermarkets from 5.50am this early morning as people today rushed to get groceries ahead of Xmas amid a French ban on British hauliers.

The place closed their borders to Uk travellers as huge swathes of the state went into Tier 4 lockdown as the mutant Covid strain spread throughout sections of London and the south east.

Sector insiders have warned France’s coronavirus ban on British lorries could end hauliers bringing in important festive foods materials.

Countries together with France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and Bulgaria introduced constraints on Uk travel subsequent the outbreak of the new strain across South East England. 

This shopper began queueing outside a supermarket which already had a line of people waiting at 5.50am today

This shopper commenced queueing exterior a grocery store which presently experienced a line of folks waiting at 5.50am today 

French borders were closed this morning as a 48 hour travel ban comes into force as a mutant strain of the covid virus spreads

French borders ended up shut this morning as a 48 hour travel ban arrives into power as a mutant strain of the covid virus spreads

It comes as: 

  • The Food and Drink Federation warned of ‘serious disruption to United kingdom Xmas contemporary foods supplies and exports’
  • Italy said the mutant strain experienced been detected in a traveller who just lately returned to the country from the Uk
  • The British Retail Consortium warned closure of France to Uk targeted visitors would create ‘difficulties’ for Uk trade
  • Nicola Sturgeon claimed it was ‘imperative’ the Uk Government sought an extension to Brexit transition time period
  • Eire has imposed a 48-hour ban on flights from Britain though ferries would be restricted to freight only
  • Overall health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted the new Tier 4 limits may possibly have to continue being in place for months.

Food items and Consume Federation main executive Ian Wright warned final night: ‘The suspension of accompanied freight targeted visitors from the United kingdom to France has the probable to result in critical disruption to United kingdom Christmas contemporary food provides and exports of United kingdom foodstuff and drink. 

‘Continental truckers will not want to travel in this article if they have a genuine panic of having marooned. The Authorities have to extremely urgently persuade the French government to exempt accompanied freight from its ban.’ 

It also arrives amid fears that a Brexit offer will not be arrived at right before the conclude of the 12 months, creating Britain to crash out of the EU. 

Long queues formed at this Tesco store in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, yesterday after the Tier 4 lockdown was announced

Extensive queues formed at this Tesco shop in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, yesterday immediately after the Tier 4 lockdown was announced 

People queued after it was announced all non essential shops and retailers will close in areas including London, Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire. Pictured: Tesco supermarket in Essex

Persons queued right after it was announced all non important retailers and merchants will close in places like London, Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire. Pictured: Tesco supermarket in Essex

The Tier 4 restrictions also mean people under the highsest set of restrictions cannot mix indoors with anyone not from their household

The Tier 4 limits also signify people today below the highsest established of restrictions simply cannot mix indoors with everyone not from their residence

The Port of Dover closed to all accompanied traffic leaving the UK for the next 48 hours after France imposed an inbound travel ban. Pictured: Lorries queue on the M20 in Folkestone

The Port of Dover closed to all accompanied website traffic leaving the United kingdom for the following 48 hrs right after France imposed an inbound journey ban. Pictured: Lorries queue on the M20 in Folkestone 

Opearation Stack was being implemented on the M20 in Kent last night - when parts of the motorway are set aside to park lorries queuing for Channel ports

Opearation Stack was becoming applied on the M20 in Kent past night – when sections of the motorway are established apart to park lorries queuing for Channel ports

‘In the supermarket queue at 5.50 to get my fingers on blockade/Brexit bog roll’, one shopper posted on Twitter along with a photo of a line of people today already queueing. 

Three crucial difficulties resulting in delays at British ports 

Challenges at ports are becoming induced by a collection of difficulties developing at as soon as which are not all exclusive to the British isles. Business insiders say there are a few critical problems at the rear of the chaos:

COVID – shipping and delivery container scarcity

The procedure for shipping goods close to the planet stopped working appropriately when economies shut down and reopened at diverse periods as they dealt with Covid.

This led to delivery companies slipping at the rear of when it arrived to retrieving vacant containers from European ports and having them back to factories in Asia.

The container scarcity is getting exacerbated by a absence of employees throughout the global provide chain – including sailors, hauliers and warehouse workers – because of to people today falling unwell or possessing to quarantine.

The troubles triggered by Covid have been compounded by a surge in demand from customers brought on by:

BREXIT – customs and stockpiling

If the United kingdom leaves the EU with no deal, then at the conclusion of the changeover interval tariffs will be used to imported items in accordance to Globe Trade Organisation guidelines.

Businesses are therefore stockpiling goods out of worry of possessing to pay out tariffs, or due to the fact they are anxious that new customs strategies soon after Brexit will hold off imports.

Xmas Rush

There is often a spike in demand from customers for merchandise around Christmas, which is exacerbating problems.

The British Retail Consortium formerly urged consumers not to ‘clear out’ the shelves amid fears in excess of a no offer Brexit. 

Earlier this month they said retailers are ‘increasing the inventory of tins, toilet rolls and other lengthier existence products and solutions so there will be adequate source of important products’.

They hopes to avoid a repeat of scenes observed previously in the pandemic, when stress getting led to vacant supermarket cabinets and limitations on vital goods. 

Supermarkets formerly minimal the sale of vital goods these kinds of as rest room roll, and staples these as rice, flour and pasta. 

But the French travel ban will guide to shortages, the market experts mentioned. 

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) warned the closure of France to United kingdom site visitors would generate ‘difficulties’ for Uk imports and exports in the hectic Xmas period.

Andrew Opie, the BRC’s director of food stuff and sustainability, explained any ‘prolonged’ disruption would be a issue in the run-up to the end of the Brexit transition time period on December 31.

‘While products can enter from France, several haulage corporations will be inclined to send vans and drivers across to the British isles without a assurance they can return to the EU in a timely manner,’ he stated.

‘This is a critical source route for refreshing deliver at this time of calendar year.

‘We urge the United kingdom Govt and the EU to uncover a pragmatic remedy to this as soon as probable, to reduce disruption for customers.

‘Retailers have stocked up on products forward of Xmas which need to protect against speedy issues.

‘However, any extended closure of the French border would be a difficulty as the United kingdom enters the final months ahead of the transition finishes on December 31.’

The Port of Dover was today closed to all freight automobiles leaving the Uk for the upcoming 48 hrs.

Hauliers coming to Britain from France will nonetheless be permitted in but there are fears that lorry motorists will not journey to stay away from being ‘marooned’ in the British isles. 

It could result in supermarket cabinets to vacant of critical ingredients for the Xmas Working day festive feast.  

The Key Minister will maintain an crisis Cobra conference now to focus on the French ban to make certain ‘robust designs are in place’.

A No 10 spokesman explained yesterday: ‘The Primary Minister will chair a Cobra assembly tomorrow to discuss the scenario concerning international journey, in specific the steady stream of freight into and out of the British isles.’ 

The recently introduced Tier 4 restictions signify all non important shops and suppliers will near in spots such as London, Kent, Essex, Surrey- excluding Waverley – and Bedfordshire. 

The previous moment annoucement gave Britons just eight several hours to entire their present searching ahead of Christmas Day before the policies kicked in at midnight.

Higher streets and trains in Tier 4 locations had been left deserted yesterday as all non-vital stores closed their doorways. Tube stations were being similarly empty soon after vacation out of the capital was restricted. 

Folks in the maximum band of constraints also are unable to blend indoors with everyone not from their house.   


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