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High-speed train services restart between France and Spain

High speed train services between France and Spain - suspended during the lockdown and border closures - have now restarted.

High-speed train services restart between France and Spain
Photo: AFP

France reopened its borders on June 15th, but in Spain it came a week later on June 21st.

Now that the border is fully reopened and all quarantine requirements have been lifted, operators Renfe-SNCF have from July 1st restarted high-speed links between French and Spanish cities.

From July 1st there will be two daily services between Barcelona, Girona and Figueres and the French cities of Perpignan, Narbonne, Béziers, Agde, Sète, Montpellier, Nimes, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Valence and Paris. 

The operators added that services will be increased after that in response to demand.

Masks are compulsory on board and restaurant and bar services will remain closed initially.

A company spokesman said: “In response to the current health situation due to Covid-19, Renfe-SNCF en Coopération is implementing a protocol that emphasises both social responsibility and the protection of the health and interests of travellers and employees, thus guaranteeing safety both on the trains and in the stations.

“Both Renfe and SNCF have started the certification processes imposed in each country involving the protocols for cleaning and disinfecting trains so as to prevent COVID and ensure that their services are provided under the safest and highest hygienic-sanitary guarantees.”

 

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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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