Vaccine rollout will not be impacted by freight and travel chaos, Grant Shapps pledges

21 December 2020, 08:45 | Updated: 21 December 2020, 08:46

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The coronavirus vaccination programme will not be affected by France's ban on freight from the UK, the Transport Secretary has said.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari Grant Shaps said the disruption around the Channel ports in Kent won't have an impact on the vaccine supply.

The Minister told LBC the UK already has stocks of the Covid vaccine.

Revealing the logistical details he said most of the vaccine does not come into the country via 'Ro-Ro' containers accompanied by a driver.

Earlier Mr Shapps told Sky News that the vast majority of vaccine supplies comes in via containers, so will not be impacted.

Read more: France and Germany join list of countries banning UK travel over Covid variant

He said: "To put this into context, there are about 6,000 vehicles we would expect, just under in Dover today, probably 4,000 would have gone across from Dover, just under about 2,000 on the Eurotunnel.

"But there is probably something like 32,000 units that would have been the daily total, so the vast majority - including virtually all the vaccine - actually comes via container and there are good supplies in the meantime.

Read more: Chaos as France closes border due to new Covid strain

"So this won't have an impact on the vaccination programme."

New border restrictions in France have led to the closure of key trade routes in Kent on Sunday night.

It is likely to have severe ramifications for UK trade, which in recent days has seen around 10,000 lorries passing through the port of Dover every 24 hours.

Much of the trade passing through the Channel ports consists of perishable goods which need to reach their destination quickly.

But from midnight all traffic to France from the UK will suspended for at least 48 hours.

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