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

    As the current health situation linked to COVID-19 is evolving, we advise you to carefully check the conditions and governmental measures of the country you are going to. Rest assured that Rail Europe connects in real time with train operators. This means that all journeys that appear in our search results can be booked. Please note that the train operators transportation plans are being revised and will change during the next weeks. Always check that your train is running prior to departure.

    At Rail Europe we care for the health, safety and satisfaction of our customers and, together with train operators, we can help you travel safely by giving you the main travel prerequisites and all necessary information. We do advise always checking with your local government for up-to-date travel advisories with regards to specific countries or regions. 

    If you have not been able to travel because of the health situation, please check our refund and exchange policies. If there are no special refund conditions stated below, it means that the regular conditions apply. We are endeavouring to process all refunds as quickly as we can and maintain the excellent service we promise at Rail Europe. Conditions can vary every day and are only valid until further updates on our websites (as per train operators’ updates).

    To ensure your protection and that of all travellers, you need to wear a protective face mask throughout your journey as well as when travelling to and from stations in every European country. Please respect the barrier gestures throughout your journey.

    To ensure your protection and that of all travellers, we recommend wearing a protective face mask throughout your journey as well as when travelling to and from stations. Indeed, this is now mandatory in most European countries. 

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

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

    Some travel insurance companies put policy sales on hold at the height of the pandemic. We advise checking with both your travel insurance company and government travel advisory services before travelling.

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

    Please note that although there is a curfew in some cities (Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Lille, Toulouse, Rouen, Grenoble, Saint-Etienne) in France between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. , you can still travel to and from those cities by showing your train ticket and filling in this form.. 

    France’s government is currently only allowing essential travel. You will need to carry a certificate that states the reason for travelling.

    Passengers arriving from a non-Schengen member state are not allowed into France. 

    All passengers travelling or returning to France from the UK on the Eurostar when in France, must complete and carry with them a Travel Exemption Certificate when leaving their homes or accommodation.

    All tickets for TGV, Intercité or connecting TER trains for travel up until 04 January 2021 are exchangeable and refundable at no extra charge. All tickets for the France-Germany TGV, France-Switzerland TGV (Lyria) and France-Spain TGV for travel up until 01 November 2020 are exchangeable and refundable at no extra charge. All TGV tickets for France-Italy for travel up until 12 December 2020 are exchangeable and refundable at no extra charge. All modifications need to be requested prior to the scheduled travel date. 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.

    Passengers arriving from a non-Schengen member state are not allowed into Germany. This does not apply to nationals of EEA member states, Switzerland, British citizens and passengers with long-term right of residence in EEA member states, Switzerland or the UK who are returning home. 

    Travellers must present a completed Public Health Passenger Locator form upon arrival and, if coming into Germany from high-risk zones, i.e. Belgium, some regions of Spain, some regions of France, some regions of Italy, some regions of the United Kingdom and some areas of Switzerland and Austria, quarantine rules may apply depending on local state regulations. 

    The flexible use of tickets purchased before 13 March is unfortunately no longer possible. As of 1 November 2020, there are no refunds available for tickets not used by 31 October 2020.

    The Swiss government recommends that all passengers follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. Wearing a protective face mask is mandatory during all travel on public transport. 

    The Swiss train operator SBB has as many seats as possible open for booking in order to respect a safe distribution of passengers throughout its compartments and carriages. Travellers coming to Switzerland from mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands, Belgium and Austria have to self-quarantine for 10 days. 

    Travellers from some regions of France, Italy and Germany will have to self-quarantine.    

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

    Wearing a face mask is mandatory in indoor and outdoor places everywhere in Italy. 

    A negative COVID-19 test is required for travellers from Spain, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France. In order to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines, the Thello night train service between Paris and Venice has been cancelled until further notice. 

    Onboard both Trenitalia and Italo trains, it is mandatory to wear a protective face mask and change it every four hours, as well as to keep a safe distance from other travellers. Trenitalia and Italo train carriages are regularly sanitised in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines. 

    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

    • clients who have purchased a Trenitalia long haul ticket to travel as from November 6 to 16 November 2020 can submit the request until 31 December 2020;
    • clients purchasing a Trenitalia long haul ticket to travel as from 17 November 2020, have to submit the request before the departure of the train.

    In order to have access to the 100% refund, the refund requests for Trenitalia long haul tickets can be submitted by filling in the web form at the following link: 

    Onboard Spanish trains, it is mandatory to wear a protective face mask and keep a safe distance from other travellers.

    The United Kingdom is taking steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

    1) To protect your health and others’, everyone must complete an online Passenger Locator Form before arrival in the United Kingdom.

    2) You may be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. Check the exempt countries list immediately before you travel as this list can change at short notice. Currently you are required to self-isolate when arriving in the UK from France, Belgium & the Netherlands.

    3) It is a legal requirement that you wear a face covering on public transport in the UK. Failure to comply with the above measures is a criminal offence and you could be fined. You can find here detailed public health advice and requirements for entering the UK. 

    Advance tickets purchased to or from any National Rail station in England before Sunday 01 November, for travel between 01 November 2020 and 02 December 2020, can be changed without fees. Advance tickets remain non-refundable during the current global pandemic.

    The price of walk-up single and return tickets are the same on the day of travel as they are weeks in advance.  Passengers may consider deferring their purchases until nearer the date of travel to ensure they do not incur any admin fees if their plans change.

    Travellers from some regions of France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland are required to self-quarantine for 10 days. Please check with the relevant Dutch government agency if the restriction applies to your travel.

    Please note that all travellers returning or travelling to Belgium aged 16 years and over are legally required to complete a Passenger Locator Form within 48 hours of departure. However, if you are returning from a stay in the UK which was less than 48 hours, or you will be staying less than 48 hours in Belgium, you are not required to complete this form. Depending on the information you provide in the form, you may be required to quarantine for 7 days.

    Mandatory quarantine and testing applies for travellers returning or travelling to Belgium from some regions of: Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.  Please check with the relevant Belgian government agency if the restriction applies to your travels.

    Depending on their country of origin, travellers coming into Austria may be requested to present a medical certificate, not more than 72 hours old, confirming a negative test for COVID-19. If you were unable to get tested before entering Austria, you are required to get tested within 48 hours after arriving, and you have to self-quarantine until your test results arrive. High risk areas are, amongst others: Spain and some regions of France. Please check with the relevant Austrian government agency if the restriction applies to your travels. 

    What should I do if my train is cancelled? You can exchange your ticket on our website or at the station. There are several trains running daily, so you are sure to find a seat on the same day. 

    For all journeys up until 31 January 2021 on all Thalys destinations: 

    - If the ticket is exchangeable according to the fare conditions, it can be exchanged before departure with no exchange fees, but with payment of the eventual tariff difference. In this case, an exchange must be carried out before the departure time indicated on the initial ticket. 

    - If the ticket is not exchangeable, a refund in e-vouchers can be offered covering the ticket price with a bonus of additional 15€ per ticket. A request for e-vouchers must be submitted up to 30 days after the travel date. 

    Refund: 

    - A refund in Thalys e-vouchers covering the ticket price with a bonus of additional 15€ per ticket. 

    - A refund by bank transfer of the exact ticket price. 

    A refund request must be submitted up to 30 days after the travel date.

    Some trains may be cancelled at the last minute due to the current health situation.

    What should I do if my train is cancelled? You can exchange your ticket on our website or at the station. There are several trains running daily, so you are sure to find a seat on the same day.

    • All passengers aged 18 years and over for the UK and 16 years and over for Belgium and France are required to fill in a form if travelling or returning to the UK, France or Belgium. Click on the links for the UK, French and Belgian forms, which should be filled out in advance of arrival in the respective countries. 
    • When arriving from neighbouring European countries you are currently required to self-isolate:
      • for 14 days when arriving in the UK
      • for 10 days when arriving in the Netherlands 
      • for 7 days when arriving in Belgium

    Eurostar offers free exchange of all tickets, in the form of a voucher, for journeys between 13 March and 16 December 2020.

    Any customers with bookings between 13 November and 16 December who no longer wish to or are no longer able to travel can either:

  •     Claim an eVoucher up to 23:59 on the day before they’re due to depart. Our eVouchers are valid up to 1 June 2021, or
  •     Exchange their tickets any time before departure. Customers won’t pay an exchange fee, but they will have to pay any difference in fare
  • For trips originally scheduled up until 07 September 2020, vouchers may be redeemed up to 12 months from the date of issue, for a new Eurostar booking up to six months in advance.

    For trips originally scheduled from 08 September 2020 to 15 November 2020, vouchers may be redeemed up until 01 June 2021, for a new Eurostar booking up to six months in advance:

    1. If the train is canceled, voucher requests should be submitted within a period of 60 days following scheduled travel.

    2. If the train is not canceled, voucher requests should be submitted by at the latest at midnight  of the day before the scheduled travel.

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

    TGV Lyria currently has less trains running. The timetable shown for trains in the booking system is accurate at time of booking.

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