Updates on train services in Europe due to COVID-19 situation

      At Rail Europe we care for the health, safety and satisfaction of our customers. Together with the train operators, we can help you travel safely by giving you all the main prerequisites and necessary information for travel.

      We advise you to check the conditions and governmental measures of the country you are going to with care. Rest assured that Rail Europe is connected with train operators in real time. This means that all journeys appearing in our search results can be booked. Always check that your train is running prior to departure

      To ensure your protection and that of all travellers, it is still recommended to wear a protective face mask for the entire length of your journey in every European country. This includes when travelling to and from stations. You will have to respect the barrier gestures throughout your journey.

      All train operators are putting cleaning and sanitising measures in place to ensure safe travel.

      Please check our refund and exchange policies if you have not been able to travel due to the health crisis. If there are no special refund conditions stated below, this means that the regular conditions apply. We are doing our utmost to process all refunds as quickly as we can and to maintain the excellent service we promise at Rail Europe. Conditions may vary  day by day and are only valid until further updates on our websites (as per train operators’ updates).

      Will you be insured for travel in Europe at the moment?

      Some travel insurance companies have put policy sales on hold. We advise checking with both the travel insurance company and, government travel advisory services before travelling.

      Safety measures per country (updated as soon as we receive them)

      Any international travel – to or from France – is discouraged until further notice, unless pressing reasons require it. Please visit diplomatie.fr here for details and exceptions.

       All passengers must complete a Travel certificate here when entering France.

      All passengers travelling to or returning to France must meet one of the criteria for exceptions, must hold a negative PCR test result, carried out less than 72 hours before boarding.

      All tickets for TGV and Intercité, and for France-Germany TGV, France-Spain TGV, France-Italy TGV or TER trains in combination with TGV are exchangeable and refundable at no extra charge for travel up to 09 May 2021 included until the last minute before the departure of the train, and for travel from 10 May 2021 up to 29 August 2021 until three days prior to the departure of the train.

      For exchanges, if the new fare is more expensive, the customer pays the difference in price. You can apply for exchanges or refunds via your Rail Europe account.

      No pandemic-related travel restrictions apply to travellers entering Germany from another member state of the European Union or from Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or Thailand.

      However all travellers must follow the quarantine rules of the relevant German federal state and the digital registration procedure for registration < https://www.einreiseanmeldung.de/#/> upon entry, and take a COVID-19 test upon arrival. 

      Travellers coming from the risk zones defined by the FOPH must observe a ten-day quarantine period.

      The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) list of regions at risk is regularly updated. This list should be carefully checked before entering the country. Please check here for details and exceptions.

      Furthermore, before entering Swiss territory all passengers must communicate their contact and travel details to the Swiss authorities by filling in an electronic form here.

      The Swiss train operator SBB has as many seats as possible open for booking in order to keep passengers safely distributed throughout its compartments and carriages. 

      No COVID-19 restrictions apply to travellers entering Italy from Member States of the European Union, Andorra, Australia, the Holy See, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Rwanda, San Marino, South Korea, Singapore, Switzerland and Thailand.

      However, all travellers must follow the quarantine rules of their region of arrival and inform the local Public Health Authority, present COVID-19 test results (within 48 hours prior to entry) and a filled-in self-declaration form here

      At the moment of the booking, the customer must declare:

      • that he/she does not suffer from COVID-19 or that he/she has not been subjected to a mandatory quarantine period of at least 14 days;
      • that he/she is not experiencing symptoms attributable to COVID-19 such as, for example, a body temperature above 37.5°C, a cough or cold, and that he/she has not had contact with a person suffering from COVID-19 in the last 14 days;
      • that he/she agrees to cancel his/her journey and inform the competent Health Authority in the event that any of the aforementioned symptoms emerge before his/her planned journey, or if they occur within eight days of the train services used for this journey arriving at their destination.
      • Trenitalia Tickets for travel from 17 November 2020 onwards are fully refundable. Refund requests must be submitted prior to departure by filling out this online form here

      All travellers coming into Italy need to fill out a self-declaration form regarding their health status. You can access this form here

      Travellers can enter Spain from the European Union, from a country in the Schengen Area, or from another country which has a reciprocal agreement with Spain for accepting travellers. These countries are Australia, China, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore and Thailand. In all cases, travellers must show a health control form (HCF) self-declaration. The form must be completed and signed electronically before your arrival in Spain. If travelling from a high risk country or area, a negative SARS-CoV-2 test carried out within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain must be provided.

      Travelling within England is permitted with the following advices:

      - Plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.

      - Regularly wash or sanitise your hands.

      - Wear a face covering mask on public transport, unless you’re exempt.

      - Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with when possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.

      If you intend to travel to the United Kingdom:

      - Provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than 3 days before departure. The results must be in English, French, or Spanish.

      - Have completed a online Passenger Locator Form.

      - Quarantine for 10 days and take 2 coronavirus tests while in quarantine, on days 2 and 8 of their quarantine. Passengers must have this tests as well as a valid managed quarantine facility booked prior to departure

      Failure to comply with the above measures is a criminal offence and passengers may be fined. Please visit www.gov.uk/uk-border-control for detailed public health advice and requirements for entering the UK.

      If you intend to leave the United Kingdom you should consider you may be asked by police to show your travel declaration form and any evidence proving your reason for travel. If your journey isn’t deemed essential, you may be fined and told to return home.

      Unused National Rail Anytime, Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak tickets can be refunded and an admin fee applies. Advance tickets are not refundable. You can apply for refunds up to four weeks from the last day that the ticket was valid.

      If the train you are booked on does not run or is disrupted, refunds will be made on all ticket types with no admin fee.

      If you booked an Advance ticket before the National Lockdown was announced on 04 January 2021 and will no longer be travelling, you should apply for a travel voucher or reschedule your journey free of charge. You need to do this before their first train departs and pay the difference if your new ticket is more expensive.

      Only essential cross-border traffic is possible, and travellers from the European Union and Schengen Area countries, as well as from a list of authorized countries (please check the Government’s website), are allowed in the Netherlands but are required to have a negative PCR COVID test taken within 72 hours of travel and must self-quarantine for 10 days, even if the stay is less than 10 days, with no symptoms or with a negative COVID-19 test.

      Non-essential trips to Belgium are prohibited and travellers from the European Union and Schengen Area countries, as well as from the United Kingdom, and a list of authorized countries (please check the Government’s website), are allowed to enter Belgium but must carry a sworn statement justifying the reason to travel, present a COVID-19 negative test (within 72 hours prior to entry) and complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form Passenger Locator Form. They may be placed in quarantine.

      Entering Austria is permitted from Schengen Area countries as well as from a list of authorized countries (please check the Government’s website). All travellers entering Austria must register in advance and obtain a "pre-travel clearance" (PTC) which must be shown at the border (in digital format or as a hard copy).

      A 10-day self-quarantine is mandatory, as well as a Declaration of Quarantine here.  Except for travellers arriving from Australia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea and the Vatican.

      When travelling by Thalys, please check the travel rules for France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium on the dedicated sections of the current page. 

      All Thalys tickets purchased between 09 March 2021 inclusive and 30 August 2021 inclusive may be exchanged for free until the departure of the train. However, any difference in fare will be paid by the customer and for Mini fares a 5€ fee per ticket will be charged.

      All Thalys tickets purchased before 31 January 2021 inclusive for travel up until 31 May 2021 inclusive may be exchanged or refunded, depending on the status of the train.

      If the train has been cancelled, tickets may be exchanged for free or refunded (refund request to be submitted no later than 30 days after the travel date).

      If the train has not been cancelled:

      1. Exchange: if the ticket is exchangeable as per the fare conditions, it may be exchanged before departure without a fee. However, any difference in fare will be paid by the customer. In this case, the exchange must be carried out before the departure time indicated on the initial ticket; if the ticket is not exchangeable, a refund in eVouchers can be offered covering the ticket price with a bonus of an additional 15€ per ticket. Requests for eVouchers must be submitted on www.thalys.com up to 30 days after the travel date.

      2. Refund: either a refund in Thalys eVouchers covering the ticket price with a bonus of an additional 15€ per ticket (requests for eVouchers must be submitted on www.thalys.com), or a refund of the exact ticket price by bank transfer.

      In order to enable our passengers to travel again and in complete peace of mind, the validity of e-Vouchers issued in 2020 will be automatically extended until 31 December 2021.

      When travelling by Eurostar, please check very carefully the travel rules for France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium on the dedicated sections of the current page as travel restrictions apply. 

      From 01 March 2021, customers who book Eurostar tickets in Standard or Standard Premier will be able to exchange their tickets with no fee, but with the fare difference, up to 7 full days before departure. Any exchanges made between the 7 day cut off point and departure will be subject to an exchange fee plus the difference in fare.

      All Eurostar tickets for travel up until 30 September 2021 may be exchanged in the form of an EVoucher. EVouchers are valid up to 30 December 2021 for travel to any Eurostar destination (subject to availability). If you are claiming an EVoucher because you are no longer planning to travel, the request must be made 7 full days  before departure. You will not be able to claim an Evoucher after that cut off point.

      The validity of all Eurostar EVouchers already issued has been extended to 30 December 2021.

      You can apply directly on the Eurostar website. For any other questions, please feel free to contact us.

      If you are travelling by TGV Lyria, please check the travel rules for France and Switzerland on the dedicated sections of the current page.

      Travel dates from 28 August 2020 up to 11 May 2021, booked from 28 August 2020 up to 11 May 2021 inclusive. The exchange and refund charge is €0 / CHF 0 (except in the event of any difference in the fare).

      Travel dates from 12 May 2021, booked from 5 January 2021 inclusive. Exchange charge: €0 / CHF 0 (except in the event of any difference in the fare). Refund charge: €30 / CHF 33

      Many thanks for your patience as we continue to inform and, hopefully, reassure you, our valued customers.