France vows to slap travel quarantine measures on Brits coming over in return

FRANCE last night vowed to slap quarantine measures on Brits coming over to their country too after the Government's snap decision.

It was announced yesterday that people arriving in the UK from France after 4am on Saturday will be required to spend 14 days in self-isolation due to rising numbers of coronavirus cases there.

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France's secretary of state for European affairs said the UK decision would lead to "reciprocal measures" across the Channel.

Clement Beaune tweeted: "A British decision which we regret and which will lead to reciprocal measures, all in hoping for a return for normal as soon as possible."

If brought in, it will mean that anyone who does have to travel to France will face being unable to go to the shops, or visit restaurants when they get there.

And anyone coming will face two weeks quarantining when they arrive – and another two weeks on the other end when they return to the UK.

The latest 14-day cumulative figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control show 32.1 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in France, compared with 18.5 in the UK.

Brits face a desperate scramble today to get back before the quarantine measures come into force.

But already travel operators are saying they are fully booked until the weekend.

Channel Tunnel said spots for car crossings had sold out and urged people not to turn up and hope for a slot.

Seats on a British Airways flight from Paris' Charles De Gaulle airport to Heathrow on Friday quadrupled in price – from £100 to £407 – after the Government's announcement. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urged people not to bother turning up to ports unless they had a booking already.

It would only create queues and people would be left "disappointed", he said this morning.

He said people shouldn't be surprised at the move as the Government warned it could happen. He said: "I think a lot of people would have been aware that this was a possibility in France and in some of these other countries."

Last night France's cases per 100,000 over the last seven days crept over the 20 mark – forcing it onto the unsafe list.

The country had seen a 66 per cent hike in cases in the last week, forcing the Government to act. Malta and the Netherlands have also been removed from the quarantine-free safe travel list.

The Foreign Office updated its advice to warn against all but essential travel to the country because of the coronavirus risk too.

Brits were in a scramble to get back today if they could.

Nurse Helen Gandy in France told the BBC: "When we left the infection rates were low, now we are worrying we are going to have to quarantine when we get back.

"We are about 8.5 hours from Calais, right in the south. We have a shuttle booked. We are hoping we might be able to get onto an earlier crossing. that is adding to the stress as well.

"We are just hours away from the 4am cut off, which is frustrating."

Ian, who has been in France since August 7, dashed to his computer to secure return tickets back to the Uk as soon as he heard the news last night.

He said: "Immediately we saw France added to the list, we got onto the internet on three computers on various booking sites, we have been very lucky and got a ferry crossing from Dunkirk."

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