HALF a million Brits face a desperate dash to get home after France was last night kicked off the Government’s safe list.
Thousands were set to spark a “mini Dunkirk” as they prepare to evacuate for Blighty amid a spike in coronavirus cases across holiday spots.
The Government’s decision gives half a million Brits currently in France less than a day to get back if they want to avoid going into quarantine.
But with flights fully booked and the Channel Tunnel packed, many will miss the deadline of 4am tomorrow.
Families with children now risk missing the first week of school as 14-day self-isolation measures are re-imposed.
Another 500,000 Brits due to travel to France in the coming weeks will have their holiday plans thrown into chaos.
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
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”
The PM added: “I think everybody understands that.
“We can’t be remotely complacent about our own situation.
“Everybody understands that in a pandemic you don’t allow our population to be re-infected or the disease to come back in.
Are you stranded in France? Call HOAR Online newsdesk on 0207 782 4368, WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502 or email [email protected]
“That is why the quarantine measures are very important and we have to apply them in a very strict way.”
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.
GET HOME NOW!
HOAR can reveal that concerned medics intervened to warn the PM that France’s numbers were starting to spiral out of control.
Ministers had hoped cases would flatten so they would not have to remove it from the “green list” — countries where people do not have to self-isolate upon return.
But France recorded 2,669 new Covid-19 cases yesterday — a record outside of lockdown.
The infection rate over 14 days rose to 32.1 per 100,000.
Anyone found breaching the quarantine rules faces a £1,000 fine.
The PM risks a row with France’s president Emmanuel Macron, who was on holiday yesterday in the South of France.
Downing Street also fears tit-for-tat quarantine measures will be imposed by France on any Brit tourists arriving there next week.
Restrictions have been imposed on 20 of the largest French cities.
Paris, Toulouse, Lille and Biarritz are among those ordering people to wear masks in outdoor areas.
Travel experts warned that any quarantine decision on France — Brits’ second-most popular holiday destination — will be another blow to an industry reeling from Covid.