Eurostar: Passengers join large queue for trains ahead of closure
European train firm Eurostar has issued a series of updates for passengers due to travel on services between London and some of its most popular European routes. These include France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of a new COVID-19 “variant” caused concern in other nations.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock added further concern by admitting the new form of the virus is “out of control”.
Many Eurostar passengers due to travel in the coming days now face cancelled plans.
In a Tweet Eurostar stated: “Due to the Belgian government’s announcement that borders with the UK will close at midnight on Sunday 20th Dec, we cannot run any trains between London, Brussels, and Amsterdam on the 21st.”
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It added: “Following the announcement by the French government that the border with the UK will close at midnight tonight, we will only be able to run trains from Paris to London for the 21st-22nd December.”
According to Eurostar’s website: “Unfortunately, we sometimes need to cancel trains. If your journey’s affected, we’ll do our best to give you as much notice as possible.
“We’ll get in touch by email or SMS so please check the contact details in your booking.
“If your train’s cancelled, you’ll find all the information you need in Manage Your Booking and links for your available options.”
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Previously, the European train line had said it would continue services out of London, despite the capital going into new “tier 4 restrictions”.
“Following the UK Prime Minister’s announcement of Tier 4 restrictions in London, our trains will continue to operate. Please ensure you regularly check latest official government information prior to departure – local measures can change at short notice,” it said.
Eurostar continues to “advise all passengers to regularly check latest official government information of their country of origin and destination prior to departure.”
It adds: “Special measures or quarantine rules may change at short notice so please visit the government websites.”
Following another televised address to the nation from Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the state of COVID-19 in the UK, countries around the world “cut off” travel to the UK.
These include France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Lithuania.
Some non-EU nations also shut down travel to and from the UK, including Canada, Turkey, and Kuwait.
Travel expert Paul Charles believes it will pose “challenging” “consequences” for passengers and travel firms.
Posting to Twitter, he said: “As #UK is being cut off, @ThePCAgency estimates 250,000 travellers affected outbound and inbound up until 1st January; losses of £400million in terms of lost bookings, refunds and crisis costs dealing with the situation. And those are conservative figures.”
However, testing arrivals could be the key to reigniting travel.
Spain, for example, is still allowing Britons to enter the country at the time of writing.
This is on the condition they provide a negative COVID-19 test on arrival.
Arrivals must provide a PCR, LAMP or TMA swab test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.
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