Dover delays: Rush of passengers leads to long queues on M20

There were long queues heading to the Port of Dover on Saturday, 18 December Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

A rush of passengers travelling to France to beat the country's ban on UK tourists has led to a knock-on effect on freight traffic, resulting in long queues of lorries.

There have been lengthy tailbacks on the M20 motorway in Kent heading to Dover and at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel on Saturday.

It followed queues at the Port of Dover a day earlier after many people brought their Christmas travel plans forward to avoid new restrictions imposed by France which came into force at 11pm on Friday.

It is hoped freight traffic queues will clear by Saturday afternoon.

Cars wait to board ferries on Saturday, 18 December Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA
Freight lorries queuing on the M20 near Eurotunnel exit Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Under the new rules brought in due to the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, UK citizens now need a "compelling reason" to enter France, with trips for tourism or business banned.

Hauliers, transport workers and French nationals are exempt from the new rules.