“It killed the holidays”: the British in France react to the new quarantine rules | World news


FRancid has been added to the UK’s coronavirus quarantine list, meaning anyone returning to the UK after 4 a.m. on Saturday will need to be quarantined for 14 days or face a fine. Some travelers desperately trying to get home before the deadline, others decided to stay in France.

Meagan Hempenstall, 31, works in marketing, London

Meagan Hempenstall (left) with her friend on vacation in France. Photography: Meagan Hempenstall

My friend and I arrived in Nice on Wednesday evening with Ryanair for a long weekend. Around 10 p.m. last night we were on the beach when we received messages from friends asking if we would be home early. By the time we rushed back to our accommodation, airline prices doubled, then tripled, then sold out.

Before hearing the news, we were hoping to meet a friend in Marseille, but in the end we booked a train to Milan to leave France before the deadline. From there we have a flight with Wizz Air to Luton, which is due to arrive early Monday morning.

It really killed the holidays and it’s quite stressful. We lost almost £ 800 on canceled accommodation, flights and additional flights and trains that we had to book. We are doubly unlucky as we booked to go to Alicante a few months ago, but when Spain was quarantined we changed everything to go to France.

Bob, 73, and Gabrielle Argent, 64, both retired, Antugnac, France

Gabrielle and Bob Argent.

Gabrielle and Bob Argent.

About a week ago we were told that our good friend’s terminal pancreatic cancer had turned aggressive, so once we heard the news we made a quick plan to visit him in Herne Bay. , Kent.

We called Eurotunnel but we were in a queue of about 3,000 people. We left the phone on speakerphone for about an hour, but when we were still at number 600, we gave up. We have a reservation for a train leaving Calais at 2am on Saturday and just hope it will be honored.

At the moment, we must arrive two hours before the start of the quarantine. If there’s a delay and we miss the cut, we’ll probably turn around and head back to France and visit places we haven’t been to before. If we can’t, we probably won’t be able to see our friend again.

Sam Rees-Baylis, 23, works in a restaurant, London

Sam Rees-Baylis.

Sam Rees-Baylis.

I am currently on a ferry to Livorno, Italy which has left Corsica [an island in the French region] Friday morning. After long discussions with my family yesterday we decided it was best for me to leave Corsica early so that I could return to work in the UK.

I woke up this morning at 6 in the morning, I took a train from Calvi to Bastia and after four hours of walking, I took a ferry to Livorno. From there, I’ll take a train to Pisa, stay there for one night and then return to Manchester with EasyJet. I will then return to London.

I was sad to leave short term family vacations especially since I no longer live with them. It’s a little stressful because there hasn’t been a lot of preparation and I’m heading to a part of Italy that I don’t know, but there is also a level of excitement because it’s a bit an adventure.

Alex, 39, teacher and Jo Pull, 45, York

Alex and Jo Pull.

Alex (left) and Jo Pull.

My wife and I are staying at a campsite in the Loire Valley with our two sons, five and seven. We rode on the ferry and first spent 10 days in the Dordogne with friends.

When we heard the news, we weren’t really in a position to make any changes, as we had already decided about a week ago to extend our vacation from August 8 to August 16 to enjoy a little more free time.

It’s a bit frustrating as many parts of France have had a relatively low number of new cases compared to the UK. Short notice cannot be avoided, but the government’s confusing message means people have continued to vacation abroad. We are both able to isolate ourselves at home and we have time before we go back to work and the children have to go back to school. We’ve had little faith in the government for some time now, but we won’t let the quarantine decision ruin our vacation.


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