Eurotunnel demand down 28% in August after France loses quarantine exemption

Demand for car-carrying Channel Tunnel trains fell by 28% last month as quarantine rules were reimposed on arrivals from France, new figures show.

Nearly 268,000 passenger vehicles were carried by Eurotunnel Le Shuttle in August compared with 373,000 during the same month in 2019, operator Getlink said.

This decrease is despite a surge in demand as many UK holidaymakers urgently returned from France after it was announced that quarantine rules would be reintroduced on August 15.

Some 11,600 vehicles and 30,000 passengers used the trains during the previous day.

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle transports vehicles between Folkestone, Kent, and Coquelles near Calais.

The overall decrease in traveller numbers has been much smaller than those experienced by airlines such as easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways.

A Getlink spokesman said: “This success under the circumstances is the result of the incomparable competitive position of the Le Shuttle service, which offers a contactless journey from start to finish, together with the reactivity of the staff in adapting to the new situation.”

Demand across the first eight months of the year was down 42% compared with the same period in 2019, due to the impact of the pandemic.

Getlink said it also transported 110,000 lorries last month, a decrease of 7% year-on-year.