Coronavirus / COVID-19 train travel information
 

Check entry & COVID-19 arrangements for each country at reopen.europa.eu/en

Click the train icon to see if you can enter that country by train!

Also check the very useful apply.joinsherpa.com/travel-restrictions and see the map at apply.joinsherpa.com/map

 
 

Some countries require FFP2 masks rather than just any old face covering.  I have used & can recommend these FFP2 face masks from Amazon.co.uk.  Comfortable, durable and a decent fit.

Travel has opened up, what are the remaining Covid requirements..?

small bullet point  Covid travel requirements to/from the UK

small bullet point  Covid entry requirements for other countries

small bullet point  Train service update, to/from the UK

small bullet point  Train service update, by country

small bullet point  Train service update, outside Europe

Last updated 24 May 2022.  This information is intended to point you in the right direction, but please double-check things at the official sites as things keep changing and note my disclaimer.

1. UK's Covid requirements...

Good news, Covid tests are no longer necessary for travel to the UK, or before or after returning to the UK.

The last remaining requirements for any Covid testing in relation to travel to/from the UK were dropped on 11 February 2022.

The Passenger Locator Form formerly required to (re-)enter the UK was abolished on 18 March 2022.

Basically, to & from the UK, everything is now back to how it was before the pandemic.

Check details at www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

2. European countries you can enter freely...

Most European countries have also now dropped Covid tests and now allow you to enter freely if you're fully-vaccinated.

Brits can usually prove vaccinated status by showing the QR codes on the NHS app.  European countries you can freely enter from the UK or other non-EU country such as USA include:

Ireland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece (a test may be required on arrival, if asked by the authorities).

Some countries have placed a time limit on vaccinations and/or require you to have had a booster, so always read the small print on the official sites and make sure you get boosted.

You may need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form to enter some countries, although most governments have now abolished these. 

To check requirements for entry, go to apply.joinsherpa.com/map, enter United Kingdom as your passport (or whatever your nationality is, for example United States) and switch the Vaccinated toggle to Yes.

You can freely enter all the countries shown in dark green on the map, with little more than the NHS app and maybe a passenger locator form to fill in. 

Click on each country for details of requirements for entry, for details of any passenger locator forms to be filled in (with links to the form), and for details of whether masks must be worn.  Click the source links in the text to read the details on the official government sites.

Here are some other useful resources:

small bullet point  www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice - UK Foreign Office website.  Select the country then entry requirements.

small bullet point  reopen.europa.eu/en - select your destination country, also check countries you pass through.  Official EU site.

3. European countries you still need a Covid test to enter...

Check the latest situation if entering Serbia.  Otherwise there are few or no European countries left in this category!

I'm just pointing you in the right direction as things can change, so check the official websites.  Apply.joinsherpa.com/map has the necessary links to those.

If you need to take a Covid test, you can take one at London St Pancras station (STP) & get results within 60 minutes for around 40, book a test at www.collinsongroup.com.  The test centre is inside the station on the upper level, opposite the John Betjeman statue.

Or you can buy a test from www.c19testing.co.uk for 20.  They send it to your home, you email them a photo of the results next to your passport, they email back with a certificate.  Free NHS tests aren't accepted, but these are.

4. Do you need to wear a mask on trains?

Many countries have dropped the requirement to wear masks on trains and in other public places.

Countries which don't now require masks on public transport include England, France (as of 16 May 2022), Belgium (as of 23 May 2022), Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, Slovakia. Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Poland.  You can check by clicking the country on the map at apply.joinsherpa.com/map.

There are a few notable exceptions:  Countries which do still require masks on public transport include Italy, Spain, Germany & Austria.

Some countries specify FFP2 masks rather than just any old face covering, I have used & can recommend these FFP2 face masks from Amazon.co.uk.

5. Are European trains running normally?

Trains & ferries are now running pretty much normally across most of Europe with the following notable exceptions:

London to Paris by Eurostar:  Eurostar running a reduced service, 16 trains a day to Paris reduced to around 10, but more are being added as travel resumes.

London to Brussels by Eurostar:  Eurostar running a reduced service, 10 trains per day to Brussels reduced to around 6, but more are being added as travel resumes.

Eurostar will not call at Ebbsfleet or Ashford until 2023.

The direct Eurostar from London to Lyon, Avignon, Marseille will not run in 2022 and probably not in 2023.

Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam Thalys trains:  Some service reductions.

Paris-Switzerland TGV-Lyria trains:  Some service reductions.

Paris-Barcelona:  Service reduced to one morning TGV Paris-Barcelona.  In 2022 the afternoon one will only run June-September.

Switzerland-Italy:  There may be a few service reductions between Switzerland and Italy.

Spain:  A few service reductions remain within Spain.

Balkans:  Zagreb-Belgrade and Belgrade-Sofia remain suspended.  Belgrade-Montenegro sleeper running, but daytime train Tara suspended except in summer.  The Sofia-Istanbul sleeper resumed from 26 April 2022.  The Bucharest-Istanbul through couchette car will (we hope) run from 3 June through the summer to September.

Ukraine:  International trains still running, but travel inadvisable for obvious reasons.

Russia:  All international trains to/from Belarus & Russia remain suspended.

You can check the situation on a specific route by running an enquiry on the operator's journey planner.  For France, Benelux, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland use www.thetrainline.com.

Face coverings are mandatory on public transport in many countries (for example on Eurostar and in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Switzerland) and recommended in others.  Some countries such as Germany require FFP2 masks, I recommend these FFP2 face masks from Amazon.co.uk.


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