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    France gives free travel to health care workers

    © Belga

    All medical and paramedical personnel (doctors, nurses, nurse auxiliaries) who respond to the call to reinforce hospitals in their fight against Covid-19 can travel for free, the SNCF announced on Monday. 

    “If they have their direction’s certified authorisation, they may travel anywhere in France to reinforce a service,” SNCF Travel Director Alain Krakovitch announced. 

    “It is normal that the SNCF too shows solidarity to these health care providers,” he added. 

    The SNCF thus responds to the Parisian hospitals’ call for available medical professionals and paramedics to strengthen their teams in the coming weeks, and to the call relayed by the Ile-de-France Regional Health Agency for volunteers to strengthen the medical staff in priority “cluster” zones. 

    The measure concerns TGV lines (inOui and Ouigo) and Intercity, but not TER or Paris’s suburbs’ trains, which depend on regions. 

    The Grand Est Region (Alsace, Lorraine) announced on Friday that it offers no-cost transportation on its networks (TER and Intercity buses) “for caregivers who dedicate themselves daily to help the Covid-19 ill.” 

    SNCF Voyages plans to offer 15 to 20% reduced price on mainline trains during the next few days. 

    The TGVs are “cleaned and disinfected carefully every day,” and travellers are placed alone on two seats to minimize the risk of spreading the virus, and to meet government guidelines on “gesture barriers,” the SNCF said.

    The Brussels Times