Eurostar passengers will be required to wear face masks as a protective measure against the new coronavirus (Covid-19), the company announced on Saturday.
“From 4 May, passengers must wear a face mask or face covering at our stations and on board, in line with guidelines announced by the French and Belgian governments,” Eurostar said on its website, adding that people without masks may be barred from travelling on trains, and could also be fined by the French or Belgian authorities.
Eurostar trains will continue crossing the English Channel, but they will be less frequent due to restrictions on movement, beefed-up controls and lower passenger demand, the company said. Restaurant services on board trains and in stations have been cancelled, and the assistance normally given to people needing help will no longer be provided, it announced.
Belgium, which, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic had the world’s highest per capita infection rate – 67 per 100,000 inhabitants -, will be taking its first measures to relax its lockdown on Monday. All public transport passengers are required to wear masks covering their mouths and noses, or face fines.
France, which will take similar deconfinement measures from 11 May, will also be making face masks compulsory on public transport.