Vehicles from England began arriving in Calais and train and air travel to France started to resume on Wednesday morning after Paris reopened its borders with the UK for people who test negative for Covid-19.

France announced the reopening late on Tuesday, ending a 48-hour closure imposed in a bid to stop the spread through Europe of a new strain of coronavirus now dominant in parts of southern England.

A few cars and a van began trickling into the EU in the early hours of Wednesday after ferries from Dover arrived in Calais, AFP reported from Calais.

Eurostar and Getlink, which runs the Channel Tunnel rail link, both confirmed that train services between the UK and France had resumed, while some flights between UK airports and France were scheduled to leave on Wednesday morning.

Only truck drivers and French and EU citizens or residents with an essential reason to travel who show a negative Covid-19 test result less than 72 hours old will be allowed into France until at least January 6.

The pound rose as the frontier reopened, climbing about 0.5 per cent to $1.3429 in London.

The UK government has said there is a backlog of about 4,000 trucks in Kent waiting to cross into France, but the Road Haulage Association said on Tuesday evening there were between 8,000 and 10,000.