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No quarantine for UK-France travellers

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So the governments have apparently agreed: no need for quarantine when travelling between France and UK.

Not part of Boris's "road map" – which I don't think is much use for navigation – but is this a big step on the road to a return of at least some passenger services by our favourite ferry operator?

Starting with one a day to and from Caen and St Malo perhaps? Or is this where we see a renaissance of Cherbourg-Portsmouth for a two-ship service? One sailing daily in each direction, thus giving ample time for cleaning before return vehicles and pax are boarded.

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Do they know something we don't?

Just seen this on the update page of Twisto [the Caen agglo bus operator]

Quote

La Gare Maritime Express reprendra son fonctionnement normal au 2 juin

I don't think anyone needs me to provide a translation.

For those not familiar with Ouistreham, the Maritime Express is the bus link from Caen rail station to the ferry.

AIUI the service is supported / subsidised either by BF or the port authority, although I can't recall where that info [?] comes from. 

In any case, I can't imagine the bus co announcing a service with no customers.

It serves the daytime arrivals and departures, but not the evening sailing. So those of us wanting to travel overnight have three choices:

between €30-40 for a taxi 

getting the regular bus to the stop by the fish market – arriving, from memory about 18h40 – and either

  • enjoying beer and pizza at one of the local restaurants before walking up to the ferry OR
  • heading straight to the ferry terminal for a long wait with a good book

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I think that things are on the move, and quite a lot is going to happen over the next few weeks. I feel in my bones that passenger traffic will recommence in June, but with very restricted passenger numbers on board. Numbers could well be limited by the number of cabin berths available and the reclining seat lounges not used. This does mean that cabins will sell out pretty rapidly and August sailings could sell out if there is a restricted service.

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Assuming those sailings are already pretty much fully booked (from before the close-down), that puts BF in an even more difficult position (of having to cancel some passengers but not others).

I wonder if the idea of a shuttle service to Cherbourg, using the whole French fleet, might have some mileage.  Each ship sailing half full but between them managing to get maybe 80% more crossings in.  They could run MSM, Normandie, Bretagne, Etretat and Connemara on a shuttle service from Portsmouth and maybe Barfleur and Armorique from Poole.  Between that lot, they should be able to lay on a dozen sailings each way per day (compared with the usual 7 or 8), which should be able to take all pre-booked traffic on half-full ships.

Just an idea.

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Depends very much how many firm booking they have. I suspect that quite a lot of people have decided that they are not going to make 2020 and have already gritted their teeth and have postponed and are waiting to rebook 2021. Interesting Times. I can see I may have to do some Tunnel trips this year ....

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12 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Assuming those sailings are already pretty much fully booked (from before the close-down), that puts BF in an even more difficult position (of having to cancel some passengers but not others).

I wonder if the idea of a shuttle service to Cherbourg, using the whole French fleet, might have some mileage.  Each ship sailing half full but between them managing to get maybe 80% more crossings in.  They could run MSM, Normandie, Bretagne, Etretat and Connemara on a shuttle service from Portsmouth and maybe Barfleur and Armorique from Poole.  Between that lot, they should be able to lay on a dozen sailings each way per day (compared with the usual 7 or 8), which should be able to take all pre-booked traffic on half-full ships.

Just an idea.

They could call it the 'Matthieu Plan' to resupply France with tourists. Ed. 

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All depends, as VOB says, on how many bookings they still have.  But if there are still people who are booked, who find that they have been selected to be cancelled when others haven’t, the PR damage will make the fiasco to date look like the warm-up act.

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Charter in some landing craft and go straight up the beach at Ouistreham. I believe it has been done before.

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1 minute ago, veryoldbear said:

Charter in some landing craft and go straight up the beach at Ouistreham. I believe it has been done before.

My grandfather did in June 1944 and said the welcome left a little to be desired. Ed. 

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How does the return trip work?! 🤣

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2 minutes ago, Gareth said:

return trip

You mean after escaping from a French coronavirus internment camp and making your way up the country with the help of the local resistance etc. Ed

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Talking in a queue yesterday, we mentioned the second wave of Spanish Flu and a chap said the second wave hit rural areas more, because they had not built up herd immunity, so when the soldiers came home carrying it Bang. I don't know how true that was but worrying for us in tourist areas, with low rates at the moment.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

You mean after escaping from a French coronavirus internment camp and making your way up the country with the help of the local resistance etc. Ed

Good moaning...you will travel at noot having farty wonks while hidding in the back pissage and do not lick through any wondows

Edited by Paully
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7 minutes ago, Paully said:

Good moaning...you will travel at noot having farty wonks while hidding in the back pissage and do not lick through any wondows

I'll let anyone who needs to hide in my barn for a night or two. In exchange for some cheddar obviously. Ed. 

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Posted (edited)

I don't think that the Ouistreham bus will have any/many passengers.

As Ed says, there is no chance before mid June. I looked at the crossings for  late June on Portsomouth / Caen and they do not seem to be taking any new foot passengers & I suspect that existing bookings will be the first to go as getting cabins for the car passengers will be the first priority - especially as they will have to continue to give lorry drivers their own cabin and not make them share.

I have decided to risk my end of July Spain/ France trip and have managed to apply 2 vouchers plus the Friends voucher to the existing balance as the rest is due in a week,

Edited by David Williams

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I wonder if Bf could offer day-trip packages to Cherbourg. €50 for a crossing in a cabin, a quick haircut in a temporary marquee set up on the dockside, a bus up to clear some of Chris' wine stockpile and then back on the ship. Ed. 

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I’ve probably missed it somewhere ......... but why are travellers inbound to the UK from Ireland and (now) France excluded from the 14 day quarantine requirement?

 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Gardian said:

I’ve probably missed it somewhere ......... but why are travellers inbound to the UK from Ireland and (now) France excluded from the 14 day quarantine requirement?

 

France is excluded as Macron wasn't happy and promised to retaliate.

I suspect that Ireland is excluded because it would have made Northern Ireland more complicated as the UK would not want one rule for Northern Ireland and one rule for GB

ps Ireland currently puts GB passengers in self isolation but not NI residents

Edited by David Williams

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4 minutes ago, Gardian said:

I’ve probably missed it somewhere ......... but why are travellers inbound to the UK from Ireland and (now) France excluded from the 14 day quarantine requirement?

 

Apparently it’s an agreement reached between the UK and France, but I’ve only seen it reported in here.  The 14 day quarantine has only been announced as applying to people arriving in the UK by air; it is unclear as yet whether it is intended to apply to arrivals by ship (or, indeed, train).

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The republic of Ireland is part of our common travel area so (back to the Irish border issue) it's impossible to realistically enforce anything on the island of Ireland given how integrated especially border communities are. Then it would also be distinctly politically unpalatable to enforce something between Northern Ireland's and Great Britain. 

Including France is obviously a bit of a fudge though.

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Thanks gentlemen.

No logic to it though eh?   

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7 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Apparently it’s an agreement reached between the UK and France, but I’ve only seen it reported in here.  The 14 day quarantine has only been announced as applying to people arriving in the UK by air; it is unclear as yet whether it is intended to apply to arrivals by ship (or, indeed, train).

A fuller report on the French exemption https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-5261059

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17 minutes ago, David Williams said:

As Ed says, there is no chance before mid June

Well, I'm still waiting for BF to reply to my tweet and explain the situation. Having lived in Fance for 20 years I can smell disingenuous claptrap at a long range. However, I normally expect it to come from civil servants, not from a company I pay good money to. If sailings start on 2nd June I'll certainly apologise to BF on Twitter and here too if necessary but shall expect the French government to say why they are backtracking on their stated restrictions. Ed

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10 minutes ago, hhvferry said:

fudge

Oh yes, fudge. I'l add that to my shopping list. Ed

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So if travel restrictions between EU countries were to be relaxed lets say between France and Ireland , would that then create a corridor for UK citizens to use to travel to or from  the UK via Ireland or  Northern Ireland . 

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