British holidaymakers returning from Croatia have vented their anger at the sudden change in quarantine rules.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Thursday that travellers returning to the UK from Croatia after 4am on Saturday would have to quarantine for 14 days.
Passengers arriving at Heathrow Airport after Saturday’s early morning deadline spoke of having “no time” to travel back from the country ahead of the deadline.
Two sisters returning from Dubrovnik had to get an overnight ferry to Italy before flying to the UK.
Speaking to the PA news agency at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, Karen Emery, 57, who works in a school, and her sister Dionne Emery, both from Newcastle, said: “It’s not like coming back from France, there’s no way out in time.
“They should have given us until Monday, so we could plan a way out, but there wasn’t enough time so our holiday has been cut short.
“They should have never let us go abroad, it’s a disgrace, we knew this could happen but there was no support, no advice from the Government, we were pretty much forgotten about, we were all on our own.”
They said there was confusion over whether they now have to remain in quarantine for two weeks, having travelled back via Italy.
A London-based tech worker also told of the “complete rush” in getting home.
Neringa Juskauskaite, 27, from Woolwich, south east London, said: “It was all a complete rush, we weren’t given enough time to get home and there were no flights back on Friday, it would have been useful to have a few more days but it is what it is.
“Luckily I’m working from home so this won’t affect me as much as others so I’ll be okay, but I will be stuck in a flat while in quarantine.”
Another holidaymaker, from London, called for “airport testing“ on her arrival.
The self-employed mother, who gave her name as Sarah, was in Croatia for 10 days with her husband and two teenage daughters before flying back.
She said: “I find it really strange that we’ve been in a country where coronavirus doesn’t seem to be as prominent compared to the UK and yet we’ve now got to quarantine for two weeks.
“It won’t be as bad for me as I’m working from home, but I have two teenage daughters who will have to quarantine and I can imagine it’s going to be incredibly difficult for them.
“We kind of knew this was coming so we tried to change our flight, but we missed the return time by a few hours.
“They should be doing airport testing, not ruining our holidays.“
Data shows we need to remove Croatia, Austria and Trinidad & Tobago from our list of #coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN. If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) August 20, 2020
A father, who gave his name as Simon, from Surrey, was on holiday with his wife and young daughter, but told of how “safe“ he felt in Croatia.
He said: “Well it’s annoying because it seemed perfectly safe over there, as safe as anywhere else.
“I’m going to be able to work, but life in general will be paused and being in lockdown again won’t be much fun.”