The UK government has put France, Malta and the Netherlands have been added to the coronavirus quarantine list throwing hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers into disarray.
The last-minute quarantine measures come into play at 4am on Saturday prompting many travellers in France to rush to ports and airports to avoid the 14-day self-isolation ruling.
Fares across the board have increased as demand has increased with very little capacity available.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to strip France from the “green” list after it emerged that the country has experienced a sharp rise in coronavirus infections.
Recently a quarantine was imposed at six hours’ notice on travellers from Spain causing similar mayhem in the scramble to get home.
Clément Beaune, a French junior European affairs minister, suggested that France may put into place a tit-for-tat quarantine measure..
He tweeted at midnight on Thursday: “A British decision that we regret and which will lead to a measure of reciprocity, hoping that things will return to normal as soon as possible.”
On Thursday, the country’s health ministry reported 2,699 new infections in 24 hours.
On Thursday Mr Johnson said the Government would be “absolutely ruthless” with imposing the measures, even with “our closest and dearest partners”.
The Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos and Aruba were also removed from the travel exemptions list, effective from 4am on Saturday thanks to a “significant change in Covid-19 risk”.
The advice from The Foreign Office has been updated advisingagainst all but essential travel to the six countries.
The UK, Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said:
“Data shows we need to remove France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos & Aruba from our list of coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates down.
“If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.”