Countdown to exodus begins as holidaymakers race home from France – follow live

The race is on: British holidaymakers in France, Malta and the Netherlands, among other places, have until 4am on 15 August to return to the UK if they’re to avoid two weeks of mandatory quarantine.

In another devastating blow to the travel industry, the government announced that these countries, along with Monaco, Turks & Caicos and Aruba, have been taken off its list of travel corridors from where arrivals are exempt from the blanket 14-day self-isolation policy.

There are currently around 500,000 British travellers in France, many of whom are desperate to get home before the deadline as they cannot afford to miss out on work or disrupt their children’s return to school by quarantining.

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Read below for the latest updates on the great travel exodus.

Many Brits who are heading back early are confused and frustrated by the sudden policy change.

Pilot Duncan Ross, who is among those cutting a trip short, called it “madness”.

  • helen.coffey
  • 14 August 2020 13:20

It’s not just those in France who have been hit by the sudden quarantine rule change. Holidaymakers in Malta and the Netherlands are also struggling to get home.

From Malta, all today’s direct flights have sold out, but routings are available via Italy. Cheap deals are also on offer via Portugal – but changing planes there would trigger a quarantine obligation, making the early exit pointless.

Fares from Amsterdam have also soared. Between the Dutch capital and Edinburgh, the lowest fare on Friday is £334.

  • helen.coffey
  • 14 August 2020 13:17

Eurostar is currently running a reduced service from Paris to London St Pancras International. There is still some availability on both the 15.13 and 17.13 departures today, priced at £268.50 (standard premier) and £209.50 (standard) respectively.

  • helen.coffey
  • 14 August 2020 13:11

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has deplored Britain’s quarantine extension. 

Gloria Guevara, the chief executive, said: “WTTC is deeply disappointed that thousands of British holidaymakers have had their holidays ruined, now the UK government has added more countries to its quarantine list, including popular summer holidays destinations, France and Malta.

“While we agree public health should remain the top priority, this move will crush what little confidence there is left in the fragile travel and tourism sector.”

  • helen.coffey
  • 14 August 2020 13:00
  • helen.coffey
  • 14 August 2020 12:51
  • helen.coffey
  • 14 August 2020 12:39

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