When his Jaguar E-Pace rolled off the ferry in Newhaven at 3:58 a.m., Bernard Rust breathed a sigh of relief and allowed himself a crooked smile.
With just two minutes to spare, he had exceeded the 4 a.m. deadline, after which all newcomers from France must be quarantined at home for two weeks.
The East Sussex financial advisor and his partner Sarah Holloway were among the tens of thousands of Britons who slept through the night on ferries, trains, charter planes and even fishing boats to avoid the rules announced at short notice on Thursday evening.
The move in the eleventh hour of adding France to the UK's quarantine list wreaked havoc among 160,000 British vacationers in the country. For those who can't afford to be home isolated for 14 days, it was insane that the exit should be back in the UK before the early morning deadline.
When his Jaguar E-Pace rolled off the ferry in Newhaven at 3:58 a.m., Bernard Rust (pictured with his partner Sarah Holloway) breathed a sigh of relief and allowed himself a crooked smile
Rust, 60, who had stayed in La Rochelle for a week, said it was lucky that he was already booked to return to Newhaven on the Dieppe ferry that came back just in time.
He added, “We knew it was scheduled to return at 4am, but what if we were a minute late? I called the government Covid hotline and asked them what it means to be in the UK – does it mean to be in UK waters? They said it means "when I'm in the UK region". They didn't seem to have a satisfactory answer and didn't reassure us. "
After Mr Rust called other ferry companies to try to get an earlier crossing – and found it fully booked – he proceeded with his booking. He said, "I usually try to get a few hours of sleep, but there was no chance." I continued to the upper deck to see if I could see land, and finally at 3:30 am I could see Newhaven Harbor. I thought, "Blimey, we can do it."
A group of musicians also exceeded the quarantine rules for France after chartering a fishing boat to bring them back to the UK. After a performance at Lessay Abbey in Normandy, eight members of the Scotland-based Dunedin Consort arrived on Hayling Island in Hampshire at 3:50 a.m. on Friday evening. "We looked at ferries, the Eurotunnel, flights and even chartered a private jet – you name it, we tried, but we couldn't find a way to do the concert and get home before the quarantine curfew", said Jo Buckley. the managing director of the Dunedin Consort.
Passengers disembark from the penultimate ferry from Dieppe to Newhaven before the 14-day quarantine rules become mandatory for people returning from France
The Dunedin Consort wrote on Twitter: & # 39; Au revoir France! This is quite unique for the outcomes of concerts. We are sailing back to the UK on a fishing boat overnight to break the quarantine. & # 39;
But thousands missed the deadline. Alexis Walmsley, of Basingstoke, Hampshire, missed the last Eurostar train from Paris to London and will now have to be quarantined with her disabled son for the next 14 days after their train from Avignon to Paris was delayed in Lyon. She said her son "doesn't understand the quarantine" and the family "doesn't even know where we'll sleep tonight".
Ms. Walmsley wrote on Twitter: “So close and yet so far. I reorganized my return from France to make sure my disabled son didn't have to be quarantined, but our TGV was so late that we will miss the last Eurostar home. & # 39;
She added: “I have made a new booking for the Eurostar for myself and my disabled son (who does not understand the quarantine) from Avignon to Paris.
A group of musicians also broke France's quarantine rules after chartering a fishing boat to bring them back to the UK
“We would have made it home without a massive delay in Lyon. Now I don't even know where we'll sleep tonight & # 39;
At 9 am yesterday at St. Pancras Station, a dejected IT employee who called his name as Dmitri from London said: “I was in Paris and went to see an ex-girlfriend. I wanted to come back yesterday but couldn't get a ticket. My ticket was twice as expensive today. "
Despite the new rules, some people still made their way to France. IT staff member John Kweku from London said: “Quarantine is the right thing to do. I'll be back in a week and will be quarantined. I work from home so that's okay. "Antoine, a financial worker from London, said," I don't particularly like the idea of being quarantined, but I understand why they do it. I'll be back in ten days, but I could stay longer. In both cases I can work remotely. "
The quarantine rules also apply to the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba, as there are concerns about an increasing number of Covid cases. The captain of a North Sea ferry from the Netherlands ordered full speed from the Hook of Holland to Harwich and shortened the 120-mile crossing by three hours, only to arrive again at 3.45 a.m.
Travelers from France arrive at the Eurostar terminal in St. Pancras International
I am coming back from a quarantine country. What do I have to do?
First, fill out a search form online. This includes your travel history, contact details and the UK address where you self-isolate for 14 days. Border Force agents will verify that you have completed this form before going through passport control.
Are there any exceptions?
YES. Those who do not need to self-isolate after arriving in the UK include airline, ferry and rail workers in cross-channel traffic, as well as workers who commute between the UK and a quarantined country more than once a week. Freight forwarders are excluded, as are seasonal workers in the countryside and people with technical expertise who are required for emergency work. Exceptions can also be granted for health reasons.
What if I go back via France?
There is no need to self-isolate or fill out a form – as long as you don't physically enter the country or someone comes to you while you are traveling.
Does quarantine really mean 14 days indoors?
YES. They cannot exercise, shop, or visit visitors unless they provide emergency assistance or medical care. Groceries should be ordered online or delivered by friends or family.
Does anyone in my home need to self-isolate if they haven't traveled?
No. Only those who have traveled to a quarantine country have to self-isolate for 14 days. The rest of the household can go on normally – although they should try to keep contact with self-isolating people as little as possible.
What happens to those who break the rules?
ALSO, failing to fill out a locator form is a criminal offense and could result in a £ 100 fine. Those who break the quarantine face a £ 1,000 fine or even law enforcement in England – which can result in an unlimited fine.
How is this enforced?
Public health officials conduct random telephone checks. If this raises doubts, the police will visit the address concerned.
Can I apply for statutory sick pay in quarantine?
No unless you are sick. The government has asked companies to be gentle on the employees who get caught – and says workers can apply for universal loans if their boss doesn't pay them while they self-isolate.
I have booked a vacation in a quarantine country. Should I go anyway
It depends on you. The Federal Foreign Office is now warning against "anything but essential" trips to countries on the list. Most insurance policies do not cover medical expenses in this scenario. In addition, countries are likely to respond to arrivals from the UK with their own measures.
Will I get my money back if I cancel my trip?
It depends on whether. If your hotel or villa is still open, there is no legal right to a refund. However, some websites like Airbnb allow last minute cancellations. When it comes to travel, you are also not eligible for a refund if your airline's route is still running – although you should get a voucher or a free rebooking. These are also offered to ferry customers due to the trip in August. According to Eurostar, passengers with a booking up to September 7th can receive a voucher that is valid for 12 months.
Mother Rachel Fortnum-Adams, 47, of Ipswich, who paid £ 300 to bring her 13-year-old son Joseph and friends home from a table tennis competition in the Netherlands, said: “It was great to see them come out Terminals. I am a very relieved mother. "
There were signs of retaliation against the government's move last night. The Dutch authorities warned against "anything but essential travel" to the UK, and France has indicated that it could "retaliate" with similar measures, which means that the British would need six weeks off to enjoy two weeks of vacation – including a two week quarantine in France, followed by another fortnight in the UK after her trip.
One family returned to the UK within hours. Matt, a Manchester teacher who didn't share his middle name, took his car on a tunnel train that was due to arrive in the UK at 3:55 a.m.
- Children who need to be quarantined after returning from vacation must be back in the UK by Tuesday. Otherwise, they will not be able to return to school on September 2nd
- Up to 500,000 Brits have ruined their holidays, while official estimates say 160,000 Brits are trying to leave France before Saturday
- Meanwhile, French officials have suggested that the country will impose quarantine restrictions on people arriving "within days" from the British
- "Mutual agreements are common in these situations and they are likely to be within a few days," the French government source said
- It comes after the UK insisted that anyone arriving from France from 4 a.m. on Saturday must spend two weeks self-isolating
- Last night, Grant Shapps wreaked havoc by falsely saying this would apply to people "coming back from Sunday" as opposed to Saturday
- The Ministry of Transport was forced to quickly clear the right day
His family had camped in the Dordogne and planned to come home on Monday but changed their tickets for an additional £ 115.
The family drove 10 hours to Calais to catch the train and spent an additional £ 66 to stay in a hotel early in the morning before continuing on to Manchester.
“We literally got on the last available train. We kept up to date on the chaos in Calais and feared the worst, ”said the 40-year-old.
"Luckily we arrived in Calais and just got back at 3am."
Three friends who returned to London tonight said they needed to be quarantined despite testing negative for the virus in the past week.
23-year-old school worker Lou Le Mener, student Aurelia Crea and 25-year-old IT worker Marine Coupe, all French nationals who live in London together, arrived in St Pancras on Saturday night after visiting family.
Ms. Crea said, “We wanted to come back yesterday but it was about 300 euros per ticket and the website crashed. Then you have a lot of people in the same place overcrowded trying to come back. The Eurostar was very calm today.
“I think it's unfair that we have to quarantine, but we will. In Paris we have to wear masks almost everywhere, we've already felt trapped there and now we're trapped again. & # 39;
A mother had to leave two of her children with her husband when she fled France on the last Eurostar train.
The woman, who had to return to the UK due to her job before the quarantine began, could only get tickets for herself and her baby.
She now fears that her two daughters – who will return on Monday – will not be out of quarantine when their school returns.
The move has ruined the vacation plans of an estimated 500,000 Britons in France, and travel chefs have warned of days of chaos.
Basingstoke's Alexis Walmsley (pictured) missed the last Eurostar train, which means she and her disabled son will now have to be quarantined for 14 days
Eurostar passengers arrive at St Pancras station in London on the first train from Paris after a quarantine was put in place for people returning from France
A coronavirus infection map of France has revealed that only Paris and Marseille have major outbreaks, while most of the country is barely affected. The percentage shows the proportion of coronavirus tests that come back positive
Travelers are returning to the UK from France at St Pancras Railway Station in London after the 4am quarantine went into effect
Eurotunnel tickets for crossings this weekend and next week sold out quickly last night, along with Eurostar trains from Paris. British Airways, Ryanair and EasyJet flights were sold out within minutes of the announcement on Thursday evening.
The cost of tickets for the few remaining seats on flights from Nice and Paris increased tenfold to £ 800 yesterday morning. Tickets for the Canal Tunnel sold out within hours as 12,000 people tried to push their bookings forward.
French officials are frustrated that the UK has decided to quarantine arrivals from across France when many areas – especially on the west and north coasts – have low infection rates.
British officials said the UK saw 1,012 confirmed cases of coronavirus and three deaths yesterday, bringing the death toll to 41,361.
People line up to check-in at Nice Airport in the south of France for a British Airways flight to Heathrow Airport on Friday
Families took a last-minute run across the canal last night before the 4 a.m. cut-off this morning when France was put on the UK's quarantine list. Pictured: a family who came from Dieppe last night
Travelers come back to the UK from Paris. All passengers wear their protective coronavirus face mask during the journey
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) News (t) France