Coronavirus: fearing the fortnight, the British rush their return from France

Eurostar passengers arriving from Paris to the terminal at St Pancras station, London, August 14, 2020. REUTERS / Peter Nicholls

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7 min

This Saturday from 3:00 UT in the United Kingdom all travelers coming from France will have to make a fortnight. A last-minute change that caught some Britons by surprise. Reports in London and Paris.


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They thought they would escape the grayness of England for a few weeks and it failed. Nearly 500,000 Britons are currently in France and are trying to find solutions to escape quarantine.

Among them, Ben, in his thirties, whom our correspondent in London, Elodie Goulesque met. Despite his anticipation, he had to constantly adapt his travel plans.

“  We arrived in France on Wednesday and we had to stay until Saturday, but we had planned, just in case, a flight on Thursday that we finally had to move to Friday evening. "

Even though Ben escaped quarantine, the stress of the past few days has somewhat spoiled his vacation. " Oh yeah, it ruined the vacation for us, we couldn't relax because we had to be ready to catch the plane at the last minute.  "

Amanda, she was to leave for a vacation in France next week with her husband and their three children, but the idea of ​​a fourteenth on the return was unthinkable: "  We would never have been able to do the fourteen on the return because we are working. both of them and the children have to go back to school, and that would have disrupted their start of the school year too much.  "

Eventually, the little family will go to Italy to sunbathe, keeping their fingers crossed that it is not the next country placed on the quarantine list.

In Paris, the rush on the Eurostar

This Friday, it was the rush for the last Eurostar which rallied London from Paris before the entry into force of this measure.

“  The British government wants to know where I have been the last two weeks and all that. In the Eurostar Gare du Nord waiting hall, Alex frantically taps his phone.

All travelers to the UK must complete an online form.

Hurried return for this Londoner on vacation in the South of France so as not to have to quarantine himself. “  I found out this morning,” adds Alex. I was pretty stressed out at first, but I managed to find this train, I was lucky. But unfortunately it was rather expensive . "

A little annoyed, Alex returns to his phone. His vacation is all the same cut by ten days.

Sophie has more luck. She had planned to come home the next day. “  I knew it was a possibility. I don't know, but we were told there were more cases in the UK than in France. The situation is nowhere good. It's frustrating in terms of logistics, but I understand. "

This is the second time that the British authorities have taken this measure. France has announced that it will set up a similar system by reciprocity.

Read also: Coronavirus: faced with the increase in cases, the United Kingdom is pushing back its deconfinement

A cold shower for the tourism sector

The London decision, which is applied without delay, is greeted like a cold shower by the tourism sector.

It is a brutal decision, inappropriate for a country that has long denied the impact of the coronavirus.

Didier Arino, Managing Director of the Protourisme research firm

Pauline Gleize

Bad news even if the end of the school holidays is approaching and the strongest flows have passed. And this is worrying for the future.

The strongest flow of British people in France has passed. On the other hand, there is a British clientele who came more at the end of August, plus a clientele of seniors.

Didier Arino, Managing Director of the Protourisme research firm

Pauline Gleize

Besides France, the Netherlands, Monaco and Malta join Spain which was concerned from the end of July.

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  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Tourism
  • Coronavirus

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