Emergency visas extended to food haulage drivers
Emergency visas to tackle the UK's supply chain disruption have been extended to food haulage drivers, while military tanker drivers are to start delivering fuel to forecourts across the country from today.
Almost 200 military tanker personnel have been deployed to relieve pressure on petrol stations and address the shortage of HGV drivers.
Demand for fuel has stabilised and more fuel is being delivered than is being sold, according to the government, however some parts of the country still face challenges.
Meanwhile, the Home Office has said 300 fuel haulage drivers will be able to come and work in the UK immediately and stay until the end of March 2022. In addition, 4,700 food haulage drivers will be permitted to arrive from late October but will have to leave by 28 February 2022, while the 5,500 visas for poultry workers announced last week have been extended from Christmas Eve to the end of the year.
The lack of drivers has forced kitchens to contend with a lack of ingredients and suppliers have warned there could be a turkey shortage this Christmas.
A government release encouraged employers to "make long-term investments in the UK domestic workforce instead of relying on overseas labour".
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the fuel situation was "slowly improving" and demand was stabilising, and stressed that there was "no national shortage of fuel in the UK, and people should continue to buy fuel as normal".
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