European rail operator Thalys is to gradually resume its international train services between the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany starting next week.
Thalys, which normally carries 7.5 million passengers a year to 26 destinations has been running four trains a day between Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris since March 10.
Beginning on June 9, the operator will restart a daily service between Dortmond and Paris and increase other services to 20% of its normal offering by the middle of July, with the hope of running 50% of its trains by August.
In an email to customers, Thayls CEO Bertrand Gosselin said: “We do not know when the Covid-19 pandemic will end, nor when our lives will regain some normality.”
Gosselin also assured passengers, “that the safety, well-being and health of our clients and employees is at all times at the core of our decisions.”
Passengers will be required to wear a face covering at all times while onboard and the number of seats available on Thalys trains has been halved to maintain social distancing.
Since April 8, anyone traveling to and from France is required to complete an International Travel Certificate to Mainland France form, confirming their journey is necessary and they are free of Covid-19 symptoms.
Other international European rail operators Deutsche Bahn, SNCF and NS — who have also been running a limited service or no service at all — have begun to slowly resume services from 1 June.
Eurostar, which runs trains between mainland Europe and the United Kingdom will continue to run a reduced service.
A spokesperson for Eurostar told CNN, “We continue to closely monitor the situation as it develops, and we hope to gradually increase our number of services and destinations over the coming weeks in line with the easing of lockdown restrictions.”
Source: CNN News