Good Samaritan’s heartache as her £3,000 luxury Alps trip is cancelled by Macron’s travel ban

Good Samaritan's heartache as her £3,000 luxury Alps trip is cancelled by Macron's travel ban 2
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A Good Samaritan has described her heartbreak after her £3000 luxury trip to the Eiffel Tower and the Alps was cancelled by Emmanuel Macron’s travel ban on Britons.

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Thousands today rushed to get across the Channel before borders close tonight, while Kelly Levell, 33, battles to get a full refund on her trip.

Ms Levell, from Bournemouth, told MailOnline she wanted to go to the Alps for a final time before her body deteriorated because of her progressive health condition.

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The charity volunteer, who donates enough toiletries to help 100 homeless people in her area every two weeks, was devastated when Macron announced a ban on travel to the country from Britain. 

She is now desperately trying to get a refund for her £3,000 holiday to the Alps luxury Spa Resort. 

Under President Emmanuelle Macron’s new rules France will sharply restrict travel to and from Britain from midnight tonight, with only those with ‘compelling reasons’ able to enter.

Thousands today rushed to get across the Channel before borders close tonight, while Kelly Levell (pictured during a beach clean with her support dog Frankie), 33, battles to get a full refund on her trip

Thousands today rushed to get across the Channel before borders close tonight, while Kelly Levell (pictured during a beach clean with her support dog Frankie), 33, battles to get a full refund on her trip

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Queues for Trains at Eurostar at Kings Cross St Pancras station today

Queues for Trains at Eurostar at Kings Cross St Pancras station today

Photographs at London's St Pancras showed dozens of suitcase-laden passengers heading inside to catch the Eurostar

Photographs at London’s St Pancras showed dozens of suitcase-laden passengers heading inside to catch the Eurostar

Following the move, flights, trains and ferries to France on Friday sold out within hours as travellers made desperate attempts to get to the country before the new ban came into force.

Photographs at London’s St Pancras showed dozens of suitcase-laden passengers heading inside to catch the Eurostar.

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Ms Levell, who was due to drive to France on December 29 – the day of her 34th birthday – said: ‘This might be the last time I can try and do it. I don’t know if I’ll do it again. 

‘I feel disheartened and let down by the French government. If you look at the stats we’ve got less cases. I’m perplexed why they made that call. It’s just France as far as I’m aware. The one place I chose to go.’

She was due to travel to France with her support dog Frankie, her brother and three friends – with a ferry back booked for January 3. 

‘We were going to stop in Paris for one night and in the morning head to the Eiffel tower, have breakfast and then drive to the alps and arrive at 5.30pm. I’ve always planned to see the Eiffel tower. It’s on my bucket list.’ 

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Ms Levell with her dog Frankie

Ms Levell and Frankie (pictured) were due to travel on December 29

Ms Levell (pictured), who was due to drive to France on December 29 – the day of her 34th birthday – said: ‘This might be the last time I can try and do it. I don’t know if I’ll do it again’

Ms Levell wanted to see if she was capable of snowboarding before her condition, a Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, worsened with age. 

‘This trip was my chance to see how capable I am, as well as a holiday which I haven’t had for two years now. 

‘My emotional support dog Frankie has incurred me additional cost for things like his passport and jabs in order for him to be able to travel with me. I was very much looking forward to taking Frankie with me.

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‘After all of the amazing community work he’s been doing this year with We Do Ethical. He brings the smiles for the homeless when we provide toiletries to hand out at the bi-weekly Hope for Food outreach and beach clean ups supporting Dorset Mind charity. 

‘I had planned to take him to the alpine lodges and have some fun together in the snow, which he’s never seen before.’

Passengers with suitcases headed to London's St Pancras station today

Passengers with suitcases headed to London’s St Pancras station today

Queues of passengers formed outside St Pancras Friday as people headed across the Channel

Queues of passengers formed outside St Pancras Friday as people headed across the Channel

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Eurostar reported a rise in bookings and the aviation analytics company Cirium, said there were 540 flights scheduled between the UK and France before Christmas Day

Eurostar reported a rise in bookings and the aviation analytics company Cirium, said there were 540 flights scheduled between the UK and France before Christmas Day

She now hopes she will be able to get her money back. ‘I’m currently trying to obtain a refund for all of the costs amounting to around £3k for this trip. 

‘I have made contact with the resort and also my travel insurance providers, so I’m hoping that I may at the very least be able to redeem my costs and not be left out of pocket as well as out of luck.’

Eurostar reported a rise in bookings and the aviation analytics company Cirium, said there were 540 flights scheduled between the UK and France before Christmas Day.

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Meanwhile Cross-Channel ferry operators said they too had experienced a surge in bookings from travellers. 

President Macron's new rules France will sharply restrict travel to and from Britain from midnight tonight

President Macron’s new rules France will sharply restrict travel to and from Britain from midnight tonight

Tickets to France sold out within hours yesterday after France confirmed British travellers would be banned. Pictured: A plane landing a Lille Lesquin airport in France

Tickets to France sold out within hours yesterday after France confirmed British travellers would be banned. Pictured: A plane landing a Lille Lesquin airport in France

‘Is this about Brexit?’: Agony of family-of-four whose Christmas has been ruined by Macron’s British ban 

The family have had their Christmas ruined

The family have had their Christmas ruined

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A family-of-four from Surrey looking forward to spending Christmas in Val Thoren skiing have been left devastated by the sudden ban. 

Maxine Lane-Badenhop, 56, had been poised to go skiing in France with her husband Henning and their two daughters, 14 and 15.

They spent around £3,800 on the holiday which they have not lost – but cannot get back, only postpone the trip.

Mrs Lane-Badenhop had managed to overcome difficulties of getting the relevant passes for her daughters and even a health certificate for their dog.

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But their Eurotunnel trip was thrown into chaos by President Macron’s volte-face.

Mrs Lane-Badenhop told MailOnline: ‘This was a trip we had postponed from last Christmas for the same reasons.

‘We were all set to go, so it’s been very hard this morning to hear about the ban. 

‘My husband works abroad so he was going to fly back tonight, we had paid for all the tests and everything we needed.

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‘We are devastated, we were all looking forward to it as a family. We don’t know what we are going to do for Christmas now.

‘If France are shutting the borders to us, are they going to do the same to others in Europe? 

‘I’m cynical, I don’t know, but is this a French and Britain thing about Brexit?

‘I think it just seems crazy with Omicron everywhere. I feel terrible for the resorts that are going to lose money too.

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‘It is a huge disappointment. We have bought clothes for the skiing which will be too small by next year.

‘To now have to cancel everything is ridiculous.’

Londoner Derek Lubne, who made it to Paris on Thursday just ahead of the deadline, said: ‘It’s crazy. (Omicron) is already spreading in France.

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‘I mean I understand they need to protect the people but it’s here. What can you do? And it’s gonna hurt people. It hurts people, it hurts tourists, it hurts your local businesses.’

Speaking on the ban French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on BFM television that tourism and business travel to and from Britain will be strongly curtailed, and all those arriving from Britain will need to have a negative virus test less than 24 hours old.

They will also need to test again upon arrival and isolate ‘in a place they choose’ for at least 48 hours pending the result. 

The new measures will take effect first thing Saturday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said in a statement.

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They will apply to vaccinated travellers as well those not vaccinated.     

On Wednesday a family-of-four looking forward to spending the festive break together at a luxury ski resort hit out at President Macron for shutting France’s borders to Britons.

Maxine Lane-Badenhop, 56, had been poised to go skiing in France with her husband Henning and their two daughters, Millie, 14, and Maddie, 15. 

The family had booked a £3,800 holiday which they can only postpone, but their Eurotunnel trip was thrown into chaos by President Macron’s volte-face. 

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Maxine said she thought the ban was ridiculous, and told MailOnline: ‘We can’t go now. We are devastated, we were all looking forward to it as a family. We don’t know what we are going to do for Christmas now.

‘If France are shutting the borders to us, are they going to do the same to others in Europe? 

‘I’m cynical, I don’t know, but is this a French and Britain thing about Brexit?

‘I think it just seems crazy with Omicron everywhere. I feel terrible for the resorts that are going to lose money too.’

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Macron’s government singled out the UK for the ban on non-essential travel, claiming it is designed to slow the arrival of the super-mutant Omicron variant.

However the travel industry and experts point out that Omicron is already well established there – and even makes up a higher proportion of French cases according to the latest available data.

Boris Johnson slammed France for banning British tourists from the country starting on Saturday over fears of the Omicron variant. 

France has given boosters to only 16.7 million people and hopes to give a third dose to 20 million by Christmas. That is behind the UK, which has already surpassed 24 million booster jabs.  

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Mr Johnson’s spokesman said the government did not think travel bans were a ‘effective or proportionate’ response to Omicron.

He said: ‘On our part given the given the transmissibility of Omicron and its seeding around the world, we don’t think that Red Lists are effective or proportionate at this current time.’

The move comes after weeks of political tensions between France and Britain over post-Brexit fishing rights and how to deal with migrants crossing the English Channel. 

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