Calais has become a human choke point. The northern French port has been invaded with tourists in their anxious quest to return home following the air lockdown across Europe. Ferry operators have been struggling to cope.
They had migrated to the ferry port on the advice of the British Government. Now the message is to go elsewhere.
“Given how many people we have here standing in this line, well over a thousand people, please think, if you got the choice go to some other places, think of going to Caen, Le Havre or maybe Cherbourg if you are in that side of France,” explained British Ambassador to France, Sir Peter Westmacott.
Many tourists had been brought by coaches from Madrid and all had their own frustrating stories of their attempts to get home.
“The British Embassy put us on a coach from Madrid to here but that is as far as they are taking us,” said one traveller while another expressed how desperate she was to return home.
“We have just been waiting for about a week and now we have to wait some more. I just want to get home,” she said.
In Madrid, designated a travel hub by the government, people continue to queue while there is confusion as to who is allowed on the coaches. Travel in many parts of Europe continues to struggle to return to normality.