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The army is being sent in to mass test 1,500 lorry drivers trapped in the queue chaos at Kent amid the French border blockade.
Government sources say French president Emmanuel Macron has accepted Britain's offer to test truckers for lateral flow coronavirus tests which can deliver results within an hour.
It is hoped the agreement will unblock travel with France after 48 hours of chaos at the border.
The EU Commission claimed Mr Macron's reaction to the highly infectious new Covid-19 strain was over the top as it emerged member states to lift travel bans.
The recommendation requested by all 27 countries said rapid testing should be deployed at ports and airports, adding: "Any prohibition of transport services, such as flights and train bans, should be discontinued."
This is not legally binding on EU member states, who retain ultimate control over their own individual borders, but it is hoped it will help to lift some of the restrictions placed on Britain since Sunday.
The mutant strain of Covid spreading through the UK has seen Christmas cancelled for millions of Brits.
Dozens of countries have since closed their borders to arrivals from the UK and the European Commission said all non-essential travel to and from the country should be discouraged until further notice.
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Mr Macron had initially pushed for the deployment at ports of PCR tests, which are more accurate but take 24 hours to process so will be significantly slower in getting things moving again.
France shut its border on Sunday night after the new coronavirus variant saw London and much of the south east of England placed into a new Tier 4 lockdown.
Tranport Secretary Grant Shapps today pleaded with hauliers to avoid the logjam at the crossing.
He wrote on Twitter: "A reminder to all hauliers that the French have not re-opened the border to France.
"Please do not travel to Kent as you will be unable to cross and may become stuck for longer."
Home Secretary Priti Patel said this morning there were more than 650 lorries waiting on the M20, with a further 873 pulled into Manston Airport near Ramsgate, Kent, to stop the roads being completely blocked by trucks.
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