Travellers are being charged hundreds of pounds extra to fly home from France and the Netherlands after the countries were removed from the UK’s Coid ‘safe’ list.
People arriving from Saturday will have to islolate for two weeks, under a move announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Thursday night.
They were joined on the quarantine list by Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos and Aruba.
The price of last-minute flights from France appeared to spike on the news. British Airways was charging £452 to fly direct from Paris to London Heathrow, a journey that on Saturday will cost £66.
A ticket on the Ryanair flight from Marseille to Edinburgh on Friday was priced at £255. EasyJet was offering tickets from Paris to Glasgow on Friday at £104. KLM from Amsterdam was charging £628 to Aberdeen, £402 to Edinburgh and £452 to Glasgow.
Direct flights on Friday from Paris to Scotland with BA appeared to be sold out.
The cheapest ticket on a Eurostar train from Paris to London is £210, compared with £165 on Saturday. The cost of taking a car through the Channel Tunnel on Eurotunnel Le Shuttle services on Friday is £260, £60 more expensive than journeys taken on Saturday.
Shapps estimated that there were about 160,000 British holidaymakers in France who would be affected by the new quarantine rules, but ruled out any special assistance, saying they knew the risks before travelling.
On Friday morning, shares in EasyJet slumped 5% while IAG, which owns British Airways, lost 4%.
Goodbody analysts said UK-French traffic was to account for 6% of BA’s traffic and 4.4% of EasyJet’s in the third quarter.
Airlines UK CEO Tim Alderslade said: “It’s another devastating blow to the travel industry already reeling from the worst crisis in its history.”