The French authorities have announced that journeys from the UK will be allowed to resume after the coronavirus ban was lifted, but those seeking to travel must have a negative test result.

However, the conditions attached to travel may do little to ease the congestion in Kent caused by the French decision to stop hauliers using the Channel crossing.

READ MORE: Scottish seafood 'devastated' over border issues amid calls for UK to reach agreement with France

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urged lorry drivers not to head to the county in the hope of boarding a ferry or train - but said "good progress" had been made in talks to resolve the issue.

The travel ban was imposed in response to fears about the transmission of the more infectious coronavirus strain, which is spreading in the UK.

French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebarri said: “Planes, boats and Eurostar trains will resume service as of tomorrow morning.

“French nationals, people living in France and those with a legitimate reason will have to be carrying a negative test.”

Mr Shapps said: “Good progress today and agreement with the French Government on borders.

“We will provide an update on hauliers later this evening, but hauliers must still NOT travel to Kent this evening.”

More than 2,800 HGVs were stuck in Kent on Tuesday afternoon as a result of the disruption.

Speaking earlier at Holyrood, Nicola Sturgeon said a protocol on freight trade must be agreed between the UK Government and France "without delay", or risk "devastating" consequences.

The First Minister said the problems with freight coming into and leaving the UK will not result in food shortages, but emphasised the issue was “of real and immediate concern” to food exporters.

She stated: “This is the peak time of year for seafood exports and the Christmas export trade is now almost certainly lost.

READ MORE: UK coronavirus border lockdown: Scottish firms face "fatal blow"

“This is devastating for our world-class seafood businesses and they need our support.”

James Withers, chief executive at Scotland Food and Drink, warned that losing the Christmas trade could be a "fatal blow" for some businesses.

Mr Withers said: "Contrary to an upbeat assessment from the prime minister yesterday, the situation has been deteriorating with a growing backlog of lorries.

"For some of our shellfish exporters, the pre-Christmas sales have now been ruined. It looks like mission impossible to get products to the big markets in Spain which are held tomorrow.

"That is an irrecoverable loss of income and I fear about this being a fatal blow to some of the smaller businesses after the horrendous year they have already had."

Elsewhere, Germany has decided to extend its ban on travellers arriving from the UK to January 6, despite a plea from the European Commission for countries to lift restrictions.

A statement from the Foreign Office said: "The German government has extended its ban on air passenger flights arriving from the UK to Germany to a ban on all forms of transport until Wednesday 6 January 2021.

"During this period, transport operators are banned from offering plane, bus, ferry and train journeys from the UK to Germany.

"From 1 January 2021, transport operators can apply to the German authorities for an exemption to transport individuals who are resident in Germany. Contact your transport operator for more information."