Posted on 14/08/2020
Transport minister Grant Shapps announced late on Thursday that Britain would have no choice but to impose a quarantine on arrivals from France, the Netherlands and Malta due to the high number of infections there. The 14-day mandatory self-isolation will be in place after 4am on Saturday morning, which has created a certain chaos for trains, ferries and planes availability and prices.
France is now joining Spain, which had been put on the no-go list by Britain in July, and has warned that it would reciprocate the quarantine for British travellers.
Shapps said he sympathised with travellers but commented: "It's a dynamic situation, and I don't think that anybody... would want us to do anything other than protect public health and public safety. That does mean where we see countries breach a certain level of cases ... then we have no real choice but to act."
According to Shapps, there will be about 160,000 British holidaymakers in France affected by the new quarantine rules, but it will also cause issues and threats for airlines and travel companies, who were hoping to get back on their feet with August holidaymakers.
Tim Alderslade, Airlines UK CEO, commented: "It's another devastating blow to the travel industry already reeling from the worst crisis in its history."
For travellers, it also means availability from Calais to Folkestone on the Eurotunnel will be very limited. A spokesperson commented: "The service is already very busy this weekend and there is no additional capacity. To avoid long queues and severe disruption we strongly advise against turning up at the terminal outside the allocated time. Customers will be unable to board alternative shuttles without a valid booking."