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TRAVELLING TO FRANCE

‘Aggressive’ man arrested on Amsterdam to Paris train after causing panic

Dutch police arrested a man who acted "aggressively" and was heard shouting Allahu Akbar on a train from Amsterdam to Paris Wednesday, causing the train to be halted.

'Aggressive' man arrested on Amsterdam to Paris train after causing panic
Photo: AFP

No weapons were found and no one was injured in the incident on the high-speed Thalys train, said police in the port city of Rotterdam where the train stopped.

“In the train from Amsterdam to Paris, a 28-year-old man behaved aggressively this morning. Travellers heard the man shouting 'Allahu Akbar', and panic broke out briefly,” the police said on Twitter.

“The man has been arrested and the police are investigating the case. No injuries and no weapons were found.”

Dutch broadcaster NOS quoted police as saying that the man “behaved confused and shouted strange things.”

Dutch railway operator NS was quoted by local media as saying the train, which left Amsterdam at 6:15 am (0515 GMT), continued on its way after a half-hour delay, 

In 2015 a Moroccan jihadist armed with guns and a box cutter attacked people on a Thalys from Amsterdam to Paris before being tackled by three Americans on holiday.

The attacker, Ayoub El Khazzani, acted under the orders of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who later went on to plan the Paris attacks in November 2015, investigators say.

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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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