Furious Brits lose thousands as holiday chaos ruins summer – and gov tells those forced to quarantine to go on benefits

MILLIONS of Brits faced summer travel chaos today with holiday companies cancelling trips, angry families losing thousands and workers being forced into quarantine on their return. 

Confused holidaymakers face a ruined summer with long-awaited trips to France, Greece and Italy all feared to get cancelled after an effective travel ban was slapped on Spain.

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Downing Street even said those who miss out on work due to suddenly being forced to quarantine may be forced to claim Universal Credit to make ends meet. 

Joanne Jackson, 49, flew home after a two-week break in Nerja and said she has now lost £2,000 in wages due to the quarantine.

The care worker, of Manchester, said: "Everyone abroad should have been given two weeks' notice, not just a few hours.

"Who is going to pay my wages? Who is going to pay my mortgage and bills? What will I do for money?"

It comes as:

  • Thousands of holidays remain in limbo today as people struggle to get refunds or change their bookings
  • Spain demanded to be put back on the safe list, saying it had its case numbers under control
  • No10 today warned that no travel was "risk free" in the current climate  

The devastating blow came as long-awaited European holidays for thousands of Brits were thrown into chaos with families cancelling trips to France, Greece and Italy.

And Brits returning to the UK today spoke of their anger at being trapped in the chaos.Chris Lacey, 66, who flew in from Malaga with wife Maria, 64, said: "The nearest outbreak to us was 1,000 kilometres away.

"I felt much safer in Spain than I do here."

Maria, 64, said: “We were supposed to come back on Friday, but easyJet cancelled that flight. Then they made this announcement so quickly which means we have to self isolate.

"If we had come back when we were supposed to we would not have to do it.

“There were no special measures at all except the cabin crew telling you to wash your hands.“

HOLIDAY CHAOS

Retired Chris Holroyde, 64, of Newport Pagnell, Bucks, said: "We have been in Andalucia where the infection rate is much lower than anywhere in the UK."

Amid the chaos flights could be cancelled at any moment, with Jet2 today announcing travel to mainland Spain stopped until August 17.

On Saturday the government announced all Brits have to quarantine for two weeks when returning to the UK from Spain – sparking families to cancel trips to Spain as well as France, Italy and Greece due to fears of similar last-minute quarantine restrictions being introduced.

The announcement, which gave just four hours' notice, has affected as many as 600,000 Brits with Spanish holidays this summer, as many frantically tried to get home this weekend before the quarantine was imposed.

Tens of thousands of Brits have said they cannot afford to effectively take a month off work – with no guarantee from the government regarding their jobs.

Who is going to pay my wages? Who is going to pay my mortgage and bills? What will I do for money?

Ministers at the Department for Transport are now at loggerheads with the Foreign Office over whether to remove the 14-day self-isolation for tourists returning from the Canary and Balearic Islands after an outcry over lower cases there.

The Sun understands the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was keen to set up air bridges to the Baleriac islands as soon as this week as Covid cases are much lower there than the mainland – he is currently scrambling to get back to Britain.

He told The Sun this afternoon he was leaving his family in Spain and cutting his holiday short – just hours after he landed there on Saturday.

The minister said he would return to work immediately on the chaotic travel policy which has landed ministers in a mess.

Earlier today This Morning's travel expert Simon Calder has been slammed online for "encouraging viewers to break quarantine" – with host Ruth Langsford forced to cut him off.

The 64-year-old travel pro was branded a "danger to public health" as horrified fans watched in shock while he shared loopholes surrounding the new 14-day quarantine Brits face after travelling to Spain.

France and Germany have confirmed a spike in coronavirus cases, which could lead to further lockdowns, while Italy and Greece have also seen infections rise since tourists returned.

Paul Charles, founder of the travel PR consultancy firm PC Agency, told The Times: "People are cancelling not just Spain but other short-haul bookings.

"We’ve heard of lots of cancellations for holidays to France, Italy and Greece."




France saw 1,130 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, while Italy daily cases jumped from 128 to 306 last week. Greece has seen coronavirus cases also rise since international tourists returned from July 1.

Mr Charles continued: "Dominic Raab said they wouldn’t hesitate to introduce quarantine measures on other countries and that’s simply put fear into people."

The Foreign Secretary told Sky's Sophy Ridge yesterday: "As we've found with Spain, we can't give a guarantee."

Mr Raab added: "There is an element of uncertainty this summer if people go abroad.

"I'm not going to tell people what they should or shouldn't do. They should follow the advice."

Dominic Raab said they wouldn’t hesitate to introduce quarantine measures on other countries and that’s simply put fear into people

Last week, it was reported that two thirds of hotel bookings in Spain were cancelled as tourists were put off by the country’s coronavirus spike, ahead of the travel ban announcement.

Hotel cancellation rates were as high as 70 per cent in the Balearic Islands, which includes Majorca and Ibiza, according to tourism market research group Dingus.

For some hotels the number of tourists cancelling stays booked weeks or months ago outweighs the number of new bookings.

A spokesperson for the Association of Hotel Chains of the Balearic Islands told Ultima Hora: “The situation has turned around in the last week and it has gone from having more reservations than cancellations to the opposite side.”

Brits are being warned not to cancel their own holidays to Spain as they may be left out of pocket, and to wait for tour operators to cancel them.

However, families who have booked flights and hotels separately may not get their money back as both remain operational.

Even Scotland has seen holiday cancellations after English tourists were warned they may be forced to quarantine.

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