Thousands of holidaymakers are scrambling to return to the UK as fresh quarantine restrictions come into force from Saturday.

The new 14-day isolation requirement from 04:00 applies to those arriving from France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba.

A rush is expected to airports and ports as travellers dash back to the UK before the deadline.

“Eurotunnel trains are booked up, while air travellers face steep prices and extra ferry services have been added,” said the BBC.

“Prices of some flights to the UK from Paris were more than £450, compared to £66 on Saturday. Many direct flights from the south of France are sold out.”

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said the destinations were targeted because their infections rates exceeded 20 per cases 100,000 people over seven days.

He told the BBC that about 160,000 British holidaymakers are currently in France.

Ferry operator DFDS UK said: “We have now added an additional four extra departures from Calais to help repatriate customers on the Continent. To travel with us, bookings must be made before arriving at the port.”

P&O Ferries said this afternoon that it expects an influx of UK residents attempting to travel today and urged travellers to leave enough time to clear border control and check-in queues.

Eurostar warned in a tweet: “Our trains to the UK are very busy today. To ensure we’re able to help you get home if you need to, please only come to the station if you have a valid ticket for travel today.”

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Labour’s shadow home secretary, called for “a joined-up strategy” which recognises the impact of this decision on travel-related businesses.

“It is vital that a sector-specific deal is put in place urgently,” he said.

“That the government has still not put in place an effective track, trace and isolate system has made matters far worse and made it more likely that we are reliant on the blunt tool of 14-day quarantine.

“The government should publish all of the scientific evidence its decisions are based on and details of any work being done to reduce the time needed to isolate through increased testing and other measures.”