Channel Tunnel train operator Eurostar saw sales surge in the first quarter, thanks to customers using their services for leisure.

"/> Channel Tunnel train operator Eurostar saw sales surge in the first quarter, thanks to customers using their services for leisure.

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TOURISM

Strong tourist trade boosts Eurostar

Channel Tunnel train operator Eurostar saw sales surge in the first quarter, thanks to customers using their services for leisure.

The company saw sales revenues in the first quarter rise to £211 million (€256 million) – a 7% increase on last year.  Passenger numbers are also up by 4%.

While business travel has broadly stayed equal with 2011 figures, leisure travel has gone up, driving the rise in revenues.

Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: “The year got off to a strong start, with sales revenues and passenger numbers on the up.

“Our core destinations continue to be a big draw for passengers but we have also seen particularly good take-up of our Amsterdam fares as passengers are increasingly keen to try out new leisure destinations by high-speed rail.”

Eurostar, 55% of which is owned by French train company SNCF, are also set to have a good summer, with the London Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee.

“We are gearing up for an exciting summer as the nation counts down to the London 2012 celebrations,” said Petrovic

“Bookings for the June bank holiday weekend are looking strong, with thousands of visitors coming to London to enjoy the unique pageantry of the Queen’s Jubilee.”

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TRAVEL NEWS

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.

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