BRITS who live in the EU have been stopped at the Eurotunnel – because they’re banned from travelling through France.
The French government is enforcing strict new Covid rules to try and slow the spread of the mutant Omicron variant as an astonishing 208,000 cases were registered yesterday alone.
And passengers hoping to travel from the UK to Belgium, Italy, Spain and Germany have now been told they’ll no longer be able to drive or take a train through France to get there.
The Eurotunnel links Folkestone in England and Coquelles, near Calais.
There were also unconfirmed reports that P&O Ferries had issued similar advice to their passengers.
The company is currently directing its customers to the French authorities for travel advice.
Officials in France say British travellers must have a “compelling reason” to visit the country. No information is provided on what that might be.
Confusion has only deepened this morning after the French Interior Ministry insisted to MailOnline that Eurotunnel chiefs are wrong – despite reports that Brits have been turned away from boarding.
‘TREATED LIKE A CRIMINAL’
Roland Moore, who works as a public affairs director in Brussels, says he was escorted off the Eurotunnel “like a criminal”.
In a post on Twitter, he said he was “denied access” by French customs officers – who told him “being a Belgian resident was no longer a compelling reason”.
“Imagine how I felt – stranded and deserted last night and escorted off Le Shuttle property like a criminal,” he said.
In an “urgent” update on its website, Eurotunnel appeared to confirm the rules have changed.
“Following a French Government decision, on 28/12/2021, unless they hold French residency, British citizens are now considered third country citizens and can no longer transit France by road to reach their country of residence in the EU,” the statement said.
Have you been affected? Email us at [email protected] or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502
The current advice on the French government’s website is that nationals of the EU “or equivalent”, as well as their partners and children, can travel from the UK through France.
However, that’s only if their main home is in France, or if they’ll be visiting their main home in a country of the EU that can be accessed via France.
Under the country’s new Covid crackdown, wearing masks on the streets of Paris is mandatory from Friday, with a €135 fine for those who don’t.
Mask wearing is already mandatory inside public buildings and on public transport.
Speaking after record cases yesterday, French Health Minister Olivier Véran said: “I wouldn’t call Omicron a wave anymore, I would call it a groundswell.
“Given the numbers we have been seeing these past few days, we’re talking about a landslide.”
And he warned that, at the current rate, two people in France test positive for Covid every second.
A string of hugely positive studies have shown Omicron IS milder than other strains, with official reports revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.
Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.
Trending In The News’s Jabs Army campaign has been helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits’ arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.