Double-jabbed Britons arriving back from France must quarantine for 10 days


British holidaymakers have been dealt yet another blow tonight, with the Government announcing travellers arriving from France will still have to quarantine even if they have had both Covid jabs.

The sudden reversal, which will likely throw thousands of summer holiday plans into disarray, comes just days before the end of school term and ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19.

Holiday hopefuls had previously been told that they would be able to avoid ‘Amber List’ quarantine rules from Monday.

That’s the date when the Government had set down for allowing double jabbed Britons return from Amber List countries without having to quarantine.

But France will now be made an exemption to the rules, amid concern over the spread of the Beta (South African) strain across the Channel.

British holidaymakers were dealt yet another blow tonight after the Government announced travellers arriving from France will still have to quarantine – even if they have had both Covid jabs

Reports earlier this week said the Government was considering putting France on the red travel list – which means those arriving in the UK from France would have to isolate in a quarantine hotel for 10 days.

But the Government has now opted for a less extreme option of keeping France on the Amber List, but maintaining the quarantine requirement.

Those arriving back from France will, from Monday, still have to isolate at home for up to 10 days. They will also need to take a Covid test after two and eight days in quarantine. 

However travellers can be released after five days providing they test negative under the Government’s test and release scheme.

Th rules also apply to fully vaccinated individuals who transit through France from either a green or another amber country.

However the Government says operators may make specific arrangements in line with public health regulations for transit without quarantine, such as those travelling by train from Belgium. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘Travel will be different this year and whilst we are committed to continuing to open up international travel safely, our absolute priority is to protect public health here in the UK.

‘We urge everyone thinking about going abroad this summer to check their terms and conditions as well as the travel restrictions abroad before they go.’

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘We have always been clear that we will not hesitate to take rapid action at our borders to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the gains made by our successful vaccination programme.

‘With restrictions lifting on Monday across the country, we will do everything we can to ensure international travel is conducted as safely as possible, and protect our borders from the threat of variants.’

It comes as British holidaymakers in Ibiza are dashing back to the UK before Monday’s 4am quarantine deadline after ministers announced plans to strike Spain’s Balearic Islands off the Government’s green list of foreign travel destinations – despite having lower Covid rates than Britain.

Passengers could be seen queueing at a clinic in San Antonio to get PCR tests and racing to Ibiza Airport today, after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca will be demoted to the amber list.

Flight prices from the islands have soared by as much as nine times, with budget airline Ryanair’s morning and evening trips from Palma de Mallorca to Manchester Airport rocketing from just £12 at the start of Wednesday to nearly £110, an hour before Mr Shapps’ announcement.

Saturday’s mid-afternoon British Airway flight from Ibiza to London Heathrow was priced at around £115. Within two hours, tickets for the same journey had increased to £220 – a 92 per cent increase. 

On the last easyJet flight from Menorca to Gatwick before the deadline, the last three seats on the passenger carrier cost £118 – around two-thirds more than the preannouncement fare, the Independent reports.

Double-vaccinated people will still be able to return from the Balearics quarantine free, even though they are on the amber list, when travel rules change on Monday. But the move will be a blow to younger holidaymakers who are not yet fully jabbed and will now have to quarantine on their return to the UK or cancel their booking altogether. 

Air industry bosses lined up to blast the Government’s ‘bitterly disappointing’ move, while MPs warned that the ‘on and off again’ decision-making was ‘creating huge uncertainty in the sector’ and could lead to a jobs bloodbath in the autumn.

Furious Twitter users accused the Government of ‘taking the pi**’ and complained there is ‘absolutely no point going abroad’ until next year. One wrote: ‘We’re staying in the UK this year. We decided to not even try to go abroad, too much hassle, quarantines etc… and way too expensive’. 

Holidaymakers in Spain’s Balearic Islands are now scrambling back to the UK to beat the latest quarantine deadline at 4am on Monday, July 19 – when most legal restrictions are due to be scrapped on England’s so-called ‘Freedom Day’.

TUI UK and Jet2 Holidays told MailOnline that they are not cancelling trips to Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca but blasted the sudden move. A spokesman for Jet2 Holidays said: ‘Hardworking customers and families continue to be judged by a different and stricter set of rules when it comes to taking their well-deserved holidays. Travel is not, and should not be, the preserve of the wealthy and powerful.’ 

One unvaccinated couple told MailOnline they would have to cancel their trip to Ibiza to reunite with their grandchildren for the first time since the pandemic began, now that self-isolation rules for returning travellers are being re-imposed on the Balearics.

Another family who are due to fly to Menorca on Friday revealed that they were now stuck in limbo with travel agents and airlines refusing to offer refunds. Others who flew out from Gatwick said they were already considering cutting their holidays short to bypass the 10-day home quarantine.

Arriving back after Monday would also mean having to shell out as much as another £100 for an extra post-arrival Covid test. 

Though Bulgaria and Hong Kong have been fully downgraded to the green list, Croatia and Taiwan are on what’s known as the ‘green watch list’ which means they can be reverted back to amber at any moment. Those looking for a quick switch from the Balearics could face an uphill battle, with red tape potentially getting in the way of a trip to Croatia and Bulgaria. 

Speaking to MailOnline, Mark Littlewood, director-general at the Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank, said: ‘Moving a country from green to amber might be as easy as flicking a switch for policymakers but it will deliver a devastating blow to industries that have been clobbered by 18 months of Covid restrictions.

‘Companies in the aviation and tourism sectors are clinging on by their fingernails. Their survival hinges on certainty and a summer boost. Government is providing neither. Business owners – and the public at large – are finding it increasingly difficult to discern exactly what is changing on our so-called Freedom Day.

‘As for me, I don’t care whether politicians think the colour of a specific destination is green, yellow, orange, pink or violet – and I’m inclined to ignore this nonsense on my travels to Majorca next month.

Holidaymakers can be seen queueing outside a clinic in San Antonio to get PCR tests ahead of their flights back to the UK

Holidaymakers can be seen queueing outside a clinic in San Antonio to get PCR tests ahead of their flights back to the UK

British holidaymakers in Ibiza are dashing back to the UK before Monday's 4am quarantine deadline

British holidaymakers in Ibiza are dashing back to the UK before Monday’s 4am quarantine deadline

Holidaymakers in Spain's Balearic Islands are now scrambling back to the UK to beat the quarantine deadline on Monday

Holidaymakers in Spain’s Balearic Islands are now scrambling back to the UK to beat the quarantine deadline on Monday

Passengers could be seen queueing at a clinic in San Antonio to get PCR tests ahead of their flights back to the UK

Passengers could be seen queueing at a clinic in San Antonio to get PCR tests ahead of their flights back to the UK

Holidaymakers can be seen queueing outside a clinic in San Antonio to get PCR tests ahead of their flights back to the UK

Holidaymakers can be seen queueing outside a clinic in San Antonio to get PCR tests ahead of their flights back to the UK

Masked holidaymakers entering Ibiza Airport as they fly back to the UK today to beat Monday's quarantine deadline

Masked holidaymakers entering Ibiza Airport as they fly back to the UK today to beat Monday’s quarantine deadline 

Double-vaccinated people will still be able to return from the Balearic Islands quarantine free, even though they are on the amber list, when travel rules change on Monday

Double-vaccinated people will still be able to return from the Balearic Islands quarantine free, even though they are on the amber list, when travel rules change on Monday

Passengers can be seen queueing at baggage drop-off inside Ibiza Airport ahead of their flights back to the UK

Passengers can be seen queueing at baggage drop-off inside Ibiza Airport ahead of their flights back to the UK

British holidaymakers in Ibiza are dashing back to the UK before Monday's 4am quarantine deadline

British holidaymakers in Ibiza are dashing back to the UK before Monday’s 4am quarantine deadline

The summer holiday plans of thousands lie in ruins this morning, with people cancelling their planned trips to the Balearic Islands after they were axed from the green list while the cost of flights back from Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca soared nine-fold after last night's announcement

The summer holiday plans of thousands lie in ruins this morning, with people cancelling their planned trips to the Balearic Islands after they were axed from the green list while the cost of flights back from Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca soared nine-fold after last night’s announcement

Furious Twitter users accused the Government of 'taking the pi**' and complained there is 'absolutely no point going abroad' until next year. One wrote: 'We're staying in the UK this year. We decided to not even try to go abroad, too much hassle, quarantines etc... and way too expensive'

Furious Twitter users accused the Government of ‘taking the pi**’ and complained there is ‘absolutely no point going abroad’ until next year. One wrote: ‘We’re staying in the UK this year. We decided to not even try to go abroad, too much hassle, quarantines etc… and way too expensive’

Are these the figures that sparked the Government into putting the Balearic Islands back on the Amber List? 

The Balearic Islands’ 14-day new infection rate has surged to around 408 per 100,000 of the population.

The total number of coronavirus cases across the islands on Wednesday stood at 4,896, up 6 per cent on the previous day.

The number of adults who have been fully jabbed is 510,108, or 49.2 per cent of the adult population.

Sixty-four per cent – or 665,809 people – have had their first jab. However, just 81 Covid patients were in hospital in Majorca.

EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren accused ministers of a ‘double standard where (foreign) travel is treated differently to the domestic economy’. 

Pointing out that Covid cases in the UK are rising while most of Europe’s remain lower, he added: ‘We cannot understand why the Government is going to allow people to go to a nightclub – without a mask or social distancing – and yet is not comfortable with people going to the beaches of Europe, where the infection rates are lower than in the UK.’ 

Jet2 CEO Steve Heapy told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he did not understand the decision to axe the Balearic Islands from the green list – calling the move ‘disappointing’. 

Henry Smith, Tory chairman of the All-Party Future of Aviation Group, said the move is ‘creating huge uncertainty in the sector and for the millions of people desperate for a summer holiday’ as he slammed what he called on again, off again’ decision-making.

Speaking to MailOnline, he warned of a jobs bloodbath in the autumn, arguing that the move to strike popular holiday destinations off the so-called green list ‘is likely to create huge trouble for the industry, and could lead to significant unemployment in the coming weeks and months’. 

Mr Smith, chairman of the  said in response: ‘I think it’s incredibly disappointing, I would have liked to have seen the Government adding more countries onto the green list rather than removing them. I think we should be much more concerned with restarting international travel than we are, particularly as we move into the summer period.

‘There are two reasons for this. The first is the success of the vaccination roll-out, with even under-18s being offered the jab. The Government should be moving to allow people to head abroad without restrictions if they are jabbed because the vaccines significantly reduce the risk of serious illness.

‘The second is that the travel sector has been absolutely devastated by months of restrictions and this Government’s on again, off again attitude to international travel. We need a period of solid summer holidaying now to allow the industry to begin recovering from the effects of the pandemic.

‘Instead, the Government is creating an environment of tremendous uncertainty which is making it practically impossible for travel firms to operate. They need time to be able to adapt to any changes which are introduced.

‘I think if we are not careful, this on again, off again policy is likely to create huge trouble for the industry, and could lead to significant unemployment in the coming weeks and months.’ 

Flight prices from the archipelago have soared as much as nine times, with budget airline Ryanair’s morning and evening trips from Palma de Mallorca to Manchester Airport rocketing from just £12 at the start of yesterday to nearly £110 an hour before Mr Shapps’ announcement.

On the last easyJet flight from Menorca to Gatwick before the deadline, the last three seats on the passenger carrier cost £118 – around two-thirds more than the preannouncement fare, the Independent reports. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk