Eurotunnel has warned customers hoping to beat the government’s latest travel quarantine deadline not to just turn up at its terminal on Friday.
People coming to the UK from France and the Netherlands will be forced to quarantine for 14 days if they arrive back after 04:00 on Saturday.
The firm warned hopeful passengers: “Do not turn up unless you have a booking. You won’t get on a crossing.”
“This being a peak August weekend, we are already full up with bookings.”
John Keefe, director of public affairs at Getlink, which operates the Channel Tunnel, told the BBC: “The service is already very busy this weekend and there is no additional capacity.”
Customers will be unable to board alternative shuttles without a valid booking, he added.
“To avoid long queues and severe disruption, we strongly advise against turning up at the terminal outside the allocated time,” Eurotunnel said.
If people with a booking want to change it, they need to do so online, it said.
“Customers currently in France, and hoping to return early, must amend their tickets online at www.eurotunnel.com, before travelling to the French terminal,” the company said.
But there have been long queues at the company’s website since the news was announced on Thursday.
It is estimated there are about half a million British people holidaying in France at the moment.
Eurotunnel said on a normal Friday in August, it would transport 10-11,000 cars from France to the UK.
No extra crossings
Airlines and ferries are also unlikely to provide a route home for people rushing to beat the deadline.
Brittany Ferries told the BBC: “There won’t be any more crossings.”
EasyJet said its schedule would operate as planned. “We plan to operate our full schedule in the coming days,” it said.
“Customers who no longer wish to travel can transfer their flights without a change fee or receive a voucher for the value of the booking.”
British Airways said of its flights to France and Netherlands: “We are currently operating a limited schedule to these countries.
“As always, if a customer’s flight is cancelled, they are entitled to a voucher or a full refund.”