British holidaymakers in France have been rushing back to the UK as they look to avoid having to self-isolate for 14 days following their government’s decision to reimpose quarantine restrictions.
The 14-day isolation requirement from 04:00 BST also now applies to people arriving from France, Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba.
The British government announced late Thursday that it was removing France off its list of nations exempt from quarantine requirements.
It is estimated that there are around 160,000 British holidaymakers currently in France.
Channel Tunnel trains are fully booked until Saturday whilst the cost of flights has skyrocketed.
Ferry firm DFDS Ferries meanwhile has added an extra four departures from Calais – these trips must be booked at the port.
The French government has already indicated that it will respond in kind and restrict its own quarantines on vistors from the UK.
The UK’s ambassador to France, Lord Llewellyn, took to Twitter to acknowledge that the new quarantine rule would be “unwelcome news” for Britons in the France.
A message from our Ambassador @EdLlewellynFCO following the announcement of new quarantine measures for people travelling from, or through, France to the UK.— UK in France (@UKinFrance) August 13, 2020
To take effect from 0400 hrs Saturday 15 August.@BritishinFrance pic.twitter.com/MnCR3nOhMF
British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News that the decision shouldn’t have come as a big surprise.
He sais that the government was consistently monitoring nfection rates when assessing its list of safe countries.
Of the major Mediterranean destinations, only Greece, Italy and Turkey, are still deemed safe by the government.
“Unfortunately, this virus doesn’t play ball,” he told Sky News.
There has been a 66% spike in coronavirus infections in France over the past week whilst the UK has registered it’s highest infection rate in two months today (14 August 2020).