There was also fury over skyrocketing travel prices and the Conservatives refused payments for those who lacked quarantine work.
Lewis Kitson, who was desperately trying to get a ferry from Calais, said: “It’s a complete mess. It’s chaos.
There was fury tonight over Boris Johnson’s short-notice quarantine order as tourists tried to flee France before the deadline.
Those who failed to re-enter by this time must stay indoors for two weeks under Covid-19 rules.
And anger escalated as the cost of travel skyrocketed and the government refused to pay compensation to anyone absent from work due to isolation because they “knew the risk” of going to a workplace. countries where there is a resurgence of the coronavirus.
Ports and stations on both sides of the English Channel have been plunged into chaos as holidaymakers flocked to cram on trains and ferries, making social distancing impossible.
British Airways was charging £ 452 today for the cheapest tickets for a direct flight from Paris to London Heathrow – a flight that will be offered tomorrow for £ 66.
Angry Lewis Kitson, who was desperately trying to book a ferry ticket to Calais in the exodus, insisted he would not follow the quarantine rules.
The 37-year-old, from Putney, south-west London, said: “This is just a complete mess. They are making it up now. It’s chaos.
“They can’t justify this. It is a matter of guesswork. I don’t care about the quarantine if I’m too late.
“They will have to put me in jail before I comply with quarantine. This is all ridiculous.
Michael Smallwood, 60, has booked eight days of camping in Calais with four friends.
He was due home on Monday but was frantically trying to transfer his tickets after his wife called him from their home in New Ash Green, Kent, to tell him about the new rules.
Michael, who owns a cleaning business, said: “I have a lot of work planned for the next two weeks and so if I don’t come back it could hit me badly financially. I wish we had more time to go out.
Painter and decorator Andrew Pickering, of Oxford, was trying to get home but couldn’t book a ferry ticket.
The 42-year-old said: “I’m drained. Suppose I have to stay in France and try again tomorrow. It means quarantine.
“It’s a real shame. They could have given us more time. It is a disaster. ”
Eurostar passengers who interrupted their vacation have shelled out hundreds of extra pounds for new tickets. All three company trains per hour are full this morning.
Vikesh Patel, 27, arrived in Paris on Thursday to visit his girlfriend but received a call from his boss advising him to go home.
Interdealer broker, from Essex, said: ‘The train was so overbooked and people were trying to space out.
“People were sitting next to each other. I sat next to someone, but I had no choice, others stood for the entire two hours.
“I heard the news at 10:30 pm last night and tried to ignore it, but got a text from my boss saying you better go home.
“I woke up at 7:30 am and there was only one train left for today. I paid £ 110 more and more for my original tickets.
“I also had to pay for a flight home in case I got stuck there.”
Stephanie Thiagharajah, who is French but lives in Kent, had a “really stressful evening” booking a ticket with her young son.
After returning to the London St Pancras Eurostar terminal, she said: “It was horrible.
“It’s a really manic way to deal with it, creating a lot of people at the same time. It was the first time we had seen family since Christmas and we were due back on Sunday, I had to pay £ 250 to change.
“A few minutes after 10pm last night, the train reservation service lined up more than 3,000 people and the website crashed. ”
The other runners for the Great Escape were Julia Burnett, 35, and her husband Craig, 36. He drove for 12 hours from the south of France to Calais on Thursday with their three children Rory, seven, Isabella, five and Finley, one.
They were due to come back next Wednesday but decided on Thursday to leave Biarritz, where they had camped, after reading rumors about quarantine.
The family, from Taunton in Somerset, managed to book a ferry less than an hour before the government’s announcement.
Julia said: “We had tried to book on the Channel Tunnel, but we ended up booking on the ferry instead.
“Then I checked the tunnel website right after the announcement and I was 5,310th in the queue. It was crazy.
“The quarantine would have really affected Craig’s job as he runs a dental service business and can’t do it from home.
In England, Jamie Harrison and his wife Bernie, both 43, were taking their three children JJ, nine, Luke, six, and Nelly, three, on a camping holiday in Nice.
Jamie, from Catford, south east London, said: “There is never a good time to introduce quarantine. But I don’t understand why they chose Saturday to implement it.
The Lib Dems have urged the government to compensate those who must self-quarantine after returning from vacation in France – as well as the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, the Turks and Caicos and Aruba, who were also slapped on the face. list of prohibitions.
Foreign Affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said: “It is right that the government takes action to minimize the risk of Covid-19 by updating the ‘travel corridor’.
“However, he has to recognize the significant disruption and the disappointment it will bring.
“All affected customers must have the option to defer or be offered a full refund, and the government must agree to those commitments. ”
But Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps rejected the plea.
He said: “This year people will have left knowing that there was a significant risk, so because of that people will have left with their eyes open. “