Channel tunnel operators warned Thursday evening that Friday travel slots were “already pretty much full” and it would not be easy to return. “We just don’t have the space to take all those who might suddenly want to come to the coast,” John Keefe, public affairs director at Getlink told the BBC Newsnight.“The important thing is that people understand that it won’t be easy to come back and that they have to be sane about it and not get into trouble,” he said.
Eurotunnel Le Shuttle urged travelers to avoid arriving at the terminal outside their allotted time and said alternative services could not be taken without a valid reservation. There was “no additional capacity” on weekend services either, he said, with services already very busy.
There was palpable anger among holidaymakers in response to the tweet from Transportation Secretary Grant Schapps announcing the rule change.
Some have pointed to the unpredictable additional cost of the short-term return, with an international student saying the only flight they can find to get back to the UK on time was via Amsterdam and would cost them an extra £ 600.
Others noted that the region of France they were in had fewer cases than parts of the UK, or that the change in official UK advice had canceled their travel insurance.
Calais-Dover services appeared to be operating normally on Friday morning.
The UK’s quarantine decisions came after France – Britain’s second most popular holiday destination – recorded a record daily increase after the lockdown of 2,669 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours .
The Netherlands, Malta, the British Overseas Territory, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the island of Aruba, a Dutch Caribbean constituent country, have also been removed from the safe list. Monaco will join them to be taken off.
A young French Minister for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, suggested Thursday evening that the UK’s decision would lead to “reciprocal measures”, adding that France regretted the decision.
Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow Home Secretary, said it was vital that the government have “a concerted strategy, and recognize the impact of this on travel-related businesses.”
“The fact that the government still has not put in place an effective tracking, traceability and isolation system has made matters worse and made it more likely that we are dependent on the blunt tool of the 14 day quarantine. “, did he declare.
Earlier on Thursday, during a visit to Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We have to be absolutely ruthless about this, even to our closest and dearest friends and partners. I think everyone understands this.
“Everyone understands that in the event of a pandemic, you do not allow our population to be re-infected or the disease to return. This is why the quarantine measures are very important and we must apply them very strictly. ”
In addition to the high number of cases in France after the lockdown on Thursday, the country also recorded 2,524 on Wednesday. That figure topped 2,288 cases a week ago, Friday, and was followed by 2,184 infections on Saturday, 1,885 on Sunday and 785 on Monday – when the country’s health ministry reported the first significant increase in the number of people. hospitalized due to Covid-19.