TENS of thousands of UK tourists in France have rushed back to the UK after it was revealed those who arrive home after today will have to quarantine.

Travellers spent hundreds of pounds on plane, train and ferry tickets to avoid spending 14 days in quarantine upon their return to the UK.

People arriving in the UK after 4am today will be required to self-isolate for 14 days due to rising numbers of coronavirus cases in France. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insisted the Government had taken “a practical approach” to the new restrictions.

Shapps said yesterday an estimated 160,000 holidaymakers were expected to try to return to the UK from France before this morning.

There “had to be a cut-off”, he told BBC Breakfast.

“It’s a practical approach as well, which has enabled all four parts of the United Kingdom, to implement the same time at 4am where there are no flights in the air, at least tomorrow.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon tells pubs to get tough over new coronavirus rules

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, the train service which carries vehicles through the Channel Tunnel, was fully booked yesterday.

A spokesman said 12,000 people tried to book tickets in the hour after the new rules were announced at around 10pm on Thursday, compared with just hundreds normally.

Some air fares were more than six times more expensive than normal.

British Airways was selling tickets for a flight from Paris to London Heathrow yesterday evening costing £452.

The same journey today could be made with the airline for just £66.

Holidaymakers Stuart and Anna Buntine spent nearly £1000 to make it home via Eurostar from Burgundy, central France.

Stuart Buntine, 58, told PA: “I woke up at 7am to find we had to get back here pretty sharpish.

“We couldn’t get tickets, all the sites had crashed ... we had to buy business class tickets back today so it’s cost nearly £1000.”

The rules also apply to travel from the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos and Aruba.