BRITS stuck in France as the quarantine is brought back for returning travellers have been warned not to turn up to airports or the Eurostar without calling ahead.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said anyone who turns up trying to get a last minute seat home before the quarantine comes into force at 4am tomorrow will “almost certainly be disappointed.”
Mr Shapps told Sky News: “Clearly quite a lot of people may be trying to return immediately.
“The advice from all the travel operators is very clear, to contact them in advance.
“Don’t just turn up because you will almost certainly be disappointed and it will just create queues which no one wants to see.”
Mr Shapps added: “Given what has happened this summer, what’s already happened in places like Spain and the vast amount of coverage about concerns in France and elsewhere, no one will be entirely surprised and I do sympathise with people.”
More than 160,000 Brits are currently stranded in France, with their holidays in tatters after the Government’s announcement quarantine would be enforced from 4am on Saturday.
They all have less than half a day to get back to Britain without having to quarantine.
But with flights fully booked and the Channel Tunnel packed, many will miss the deadline of 4am tomorrow.
Families with children also risk missing the first week of school as 14-day self-isolation measures are re-imposed.
Mr Shapps said: “If you are already there, you can continue and enjoy your holiday.”
He said the quarantine was a necessary evil to cope with a virus which “doesn’t play ball”.
What we know so far:
- Half a million Brits in France face a scramble to get home before 4am on Saturday – or isolate for 14 days
- Brits vented their fury as the last-minute quarantine France decision ruined 500,000 holidays
- The Netherlands and Malta have also been added to the quarantine list – but Gibraltar was reprieved
- The Channel Tunnel boss has warned tourists ‘we’re already fully booked’
- One BA flight from Paris airport to Heathrow quadrupled in price after announcement
- £1,000 fine for breaking quarantine rules
Infection rates in France have risen by a massive 66 per cent in the last week of new coronavirus cases.
France recorded 2,669 new Covid-19 cases yesterday – a record high after the French lockdown.
Mr Shapps said every tourist will have to look at “their own situations” and that most people who went to France knew quarantine was a possibility when they left.
The Netherlands and Malta were also added to the quarantine list last night.
Boris Johnson said yesterday that he had to be “absolutely ruthless” over imposing the travel rules, “even with our closest and dearest friends and partners”
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.
Channel Tunnel operator Getlink said extra services may be laid on but warned many passengers face missing out on the quarantine deadline.
John Keefe, Getlink’s director of public affairs, told BBC Newsnight the trains were “already pretty much fully booked” today.