British Tourists Make A Mad Scramble Back To The UK From France (Over The Weekend Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th August)

At 4 am on Saturday, 14th August, new quarantine rules have come into force. France, along with The Netherlands and Malta, was suddenly removed from the list of “travel corridors”. This means that France is now no longer regarded as a “safe country” that British people could safely travel to, whether for a holiday, or for business purposes. The new quarantine rules mean that now, as soon as British people return to the UK from France, they will have to immediately go into quarantine and self-isolate for 14 days. They will be in lockdown. (British people returning to the UK from The Netherlands and Malta will also have to immediately go into quarantine, and self-isolate for 14 days).

The UK government said that France was taken off the list due to mounting concern about the daily rising numbers of new cases of Covid-19 infections in the country. There were 2,524 new Covid-19 infections reported on Wednesday, 12th August in France, and a 66% increase in positive Covid-19 tests in the past week. The British Prime Minister said that it was now direly necessary to stop more Covid-19 infections being carried into the UK from certain foreign countries like France. He also said that during a pandemic, we cannot have the virus coming back into the UK. There are fears of a second wave of the virus.

Somehow, British tourists in France on Thursday, 13th August, had heard it would be taken off the list of quarantine-free countries. They then started the mad scramble to try and get tickets so they could travel back to the UK in time, in order to avoid having to quarantine for 14 days. In the first hour after the new rules were announced at 10 pm on the Thursday night, about 12,000 British people were trying to book train tickets from France to the UK, compared with the usual hundreds.

A train in the snow

Those who were booking Eurostar tickets online kept on finding themselves logged in to extremely long virtual queues. The train service, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, which transports vehicles through the Channel Tunnel, was totally full to capacity on the Friday. They were also very busy on the Saturday and Sunday, and they said nobody would be allowed to board alternative shuttles if they did not have a valid booking.

Because there was such a high demand over that particular weekend for train, plane and ferry tickets, prices were very quickly raised. On the Friday, a Eurostar ticket to from Paris to London cost £210, but on the Saturday it cost £165. Some British people had to even buy expensive business class train tickets, which cost nearly £1,000 for two. There were also price hikes in plane tickets. Some airfares over that weekend cost six times as much as they usually did. There were some plane tickets available on the Friday, for a flight from Paris to London Heathrow, costing £452, which subsequently cost only £66 on the Saturday. British travellers had to literally take what tickets they could get.

Now, if you are worrying and becoming anxious because you have a future holiday in France booked for example in September or October, be aware that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is asking people not to travel unless it is essential. Pre-booked holidays in France should automatically be cancelled by your travel agency, whereupon you will be legally entitled to a refund. If you do not hear from your travel operator, contact them and ask them if you can have either a refund, a refund credit note towards a future holiday with them, travel vouchers or even a change of holiday.

Buckets and Spades

Hypnosis is a wonderful way of easing feelings of anxiety and worry about things, like where you can now go safely for a holiday. If your summer trip to Paris or the South of France has just been cancelled, for instance, and you just do not know what to do and you feel in a muddle about it all, but you still want a break, call us now on 07904 605344 and see how we can help.