Brits heading to France face 2 week quarantine when they arrive as French vow to force self-isolation in retaliation
THOUSANDS of holidaymakers heading to France face a two-week isolation on arrival.
Last night Emmanual Macron plunged thousands of sunseekers into travel chaos by vowing revenge quarantine rules on new arrivals – but no one told the Brits the details.
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Brits queuing up at the ferry terminal at Calais to get back before the new quarantine rules kick in[/caption]
A half-empty Eurostar train this evening[/caption]
The move follows yesterday’s announced people arriving in the UK from France after 4am on Saturday will be required to spend 14 days in self-isolation due to rising numbers of coronavirus cases there.
France’s secretary of state for European affairs said the UK decision would lead to “reciprocal measures” across the Channel.
Clement Beaune tweeted: “A British decision which we regret and which will lead to reciprocal measures, all in hoping for a return for normal as soon as possible.”
The French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari also tweeted to say France “regrets the UK decision” and “will apply reciprocal measures”.
He said he wanted to have similar rules in place “to ensure a high level of protection on both sides of the Channel”.
But no information was provided on when it would kick in or how strict it would be.
Ministers fear the furious French will slap a ban on visiting Brits going to shops, bars and restaurants as soon as the weekend or Monday.
That left thousands of defiant Brits arriving in France for their holidays this weekend – and prepared to quarantine when they got home – confused over whether they will be ordered to stay locked down in campsites and hotels for 14 days, risking further holiday ruin
If brought in, it will mean that anyone who does have to travel to France will face being unable to go to the shops, or visit restaurants when they get there.
Anyone visiting France will face two weeks quarantining when they arrive – and another two weeks on the other end when they return to the UK.
The latest 14-day cumulative figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control show 32.1 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in France, compared with 18.5 in the UK.
The Netherlands has also responded and told its citizens not to travel to Britain after ministers put quarantine measures on returning travellers from the country.
A spokesman for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “This means that Great Britain will receive a code orange as travel advice, because the Dutch have to be quarantined there.”
The Dutch code orange means the Government advises against travel to the UK – but they haven’t imposed quarantine restrictions.
Brits face a desperate scramble today to get back from France before the quarantine measures come into force.
La France regrette la décision du Royaume Uni et appliquera des mesures de réciprocité dans le champ des transports. J’ai dit à mon homologue @grantshapps notre volonté d’harmoniser les protocoles sanitaires pour assurer un haut niveau de protection des deux côtés de la Manche. https://t.co/bH7LkqD3LB
— J-Baptiste Djebbari (@Djebbari_JB) August 13, 2020
But already travel operators are saying they are fully booked until the weekend.
Channel Tunnel said spots for car crossings had sold out and urged people not to turn up and hope for a slot.
Seats on a British Airways flight from Paris’ Charles De Gaulle airport to Heathrow on Friday quadrupled in price – from £100 to £407 – after the Government’s announcement.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urged people not to bother turning up to ports unless they had a booking already.
It would only create queues and people would be left “disappointed”, he said this morning.
He said people shouldn’t be surprised at the move as the Government warned it could happen. He said: “I think a lot of people would have been aware that this was a possibility in France and in some of these other countries.”
Last night France was forced onto the unsafe list after suffering a recent high in its number of virus cases.
The country had seen a 66 per cent hike in cases in the last week, forcing the Government to act. Malta and the Netherlands have also been removed from the quarantine-free safe travel list.
The Foreign Office updated its advice to warn against all but essential travel to the country because of the coronavirus risk too.
— Clement Beaune (@CBeaune) August 13, 2020
Brits were in a scramble to get back today if they could.
Nurse Helen Gandy in France told the BBC: “When we left the infection rates were low, now we are worrying we are going to have to quarantine when we get back.
“We are about 8.5 hours from Calais, right in the south. We have a shuttle booked. We are hoping we might be able to get onto an earlier crossing. that is adding to the stress as well.
“We are just hours away from the 4am cut off, which is frustrating.”
Ian, who has been in France since August 7, dashed to his computer to secure return tickets back to the UK as soon as he heard the news last night.
He said: “Immediately we saw France added to the list, we got onto the internet on three computers on various booking sites, we have been very lucky and got a ferry crossing from Dunkirk.”
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