Ferry companies furious as passengers say they cannot cross France without being quarantined


CFerry companies have expressed anger and confusion after the government announced that motorists coming from countries exempted from quarantine must still self-isolate if crossing the UK by sea.With France and Belgium both struck off the UK’s “green list” on Saturday, travelers from those countries are now required to self-quarantine for two weeks.

An exception has been made for those traveling by car from “safe countries” such as Germany and Switzerland, which means that safety measures should not apply to those who choose to drive, as long as ‘they don’t mingle with others along the way.

But the Department of Transport (DfT) has since clarified that motorists crossing the English Channel using a ferry service must enter quarantine as security protocols require passengers to leave their vehicles on board, thus exposing them to infection. by other travelers.

Meanwhile, those traveling to the UK via the Eurotunnel motor train, where passengers must remain inside their vehicles, will be allowed to waive the mandatory 14-day isolation period.

Some members of the ferry industry took issue with the DfT’s lack of communication, saying operators were not told about new measures that threaten to further hurt their struggling revenues.

Abby Penlington, Marketing Director of Discover Ferries, said: “The government has not informed the ferry industry, and if it does, it confuses passengers and would place the ferry industry and Eurotunnel on different playing fields.

“As such, we will seek urgent clarifications from the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

Like the rest of the travel industry, ferry companies have been hit hard by months of travel bans: P&O reportedly lost £ 250,000 a day during the lockdown, while other companies were forced to fire from the staff and initiate dismissal consultations.

Hopes for a recovery were ignited in early July when the UK lifted restrictions on 59 countries, including France, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, and a number of industry insiders were convinced that concerns about air travel would encourage vacationers to travel by sea.

But with the reintroduction of quarantine measures for those traveling to the UK from several popular mainland tourist destinations, and with the French government considering reciprocal restrictions for UK travelers, ferry operators are once again faced with a bleak future.


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