The company said the UK’s inability to familiarize itself early enough with the so-called Indian variant led France to take drastic measures and meant it would not be carrying passengers for weeks.
However, it will step up its services to Spain, including from Plymouth, after the country said it would let tourists in from this week.
Brittany Ferries, which has its UK headquarters in Plymouth, said the imposition of a mandatory quarantine for UK passengers arriving in France was “extremely frustrating”.
Brittany Ferries in the news
He announced that the crossings from Plymouth to Roscoff, on the Armorique, and from Portsmouth to Caen, on the Normandy, will no longer carry passengers until at least June 20. And services from Poole to Cherbourg, and from Portsmouth to St Malo, have been canceled until at least June 27.
The move came after France imposed the seven-day self-isolation rule on anyone arriving in the country. People arriving in France must also have proof of a negative PCR or lateral flow test, and non-French residents or citizens must also show that their travel is essential.
France is increasingly concerned about the spread of the Covid B.1.617 variant, commonly known as the Indian variant and believed to have originated in this country before arriving in the UK.
Brittany Ferries said the French quarantine was a direct result of the UK’s failure to put India on its ‘red list’ of countries to or from which no one should previously travel.
Christophe Mathieu, Managing Director of Brittany Ferries said: “We have to respect the decision of the French government, but it is an extremely frustrating development.
“The fact that British counterparts did not immediately add India to the Red List, as the catastrophic health crisis in that country unfolded, is a mystery to me.
“Despite very real progress in UK vaccination and virus suppression, this failure needlessly and carelessly left the door open to a new danger. France has acted on the basis of the Covid transmission hotspots emerging across the UK which it sees as a threat.
And he added: “As we plan to increase services to Spain, I’m afraid we have been forced to make tough decisions on services to France. These will once again affect thousands of travelers’ plans for which I apologize in advance. “
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Brittany Ferries scrapped plans to start a route from Plymouth to Portugal just days ago, after Spain decided to admit tourists again from May 24, without them even having to to take a PCR test, because Covid cases in the Iberian country have fallen to their lowest level since August 2020.
Brittany Ferries will now focus more on this route and the first navigation of its flagship Pont-Aven to Spain will take place on Sunday June 6 from Millbay at 4:45 p.m.
The company will make a round trip twice a week in Spain with Pont-Aven and already has nearly 600 passengers booked on the first Pont-Aven Plymouth in Santander.
Mr Mathieu said: “In addition to the Portsmouth-Santander crossings aboard Galicia, I am delighted to confirm that Pont-Aven will restart services from Plymouth to Santander. Two weekly round trips will take place.
“I know how important this service is to the South West of England and their counterparts in Northern Spain. When Ireland opens its borders, we will take another look at the Roscoff-Cork stretch of our flagship’s normal workload. “