Eurostar to Require Passengers to Cover Their Faces

“Any type of mask is suitable as long as it effectively covers your nose and mouth.”

passengers standing at Eurostar International Departures
Photo: Yui Mok - PA Images/Getty

As some countries in Europe begin plans to ease coronavirus restrictions, the popular Eurostar train will start requiring passengers to wear face masks when traveling, according to the company.

The mandate to cover your face went into effect on Monday, and includes passengers who are in the station or on the train, according to their website. Customers who don’t have a mask may be turned away.

Additionally, the company said passengers who aren’t wearing masks and traveling to France and Belgium could be fined in the two countries.

“Please ensure you have a mask with you when you travel,” the UK-based trains service wrote in its notice. “Any type of mask is suitable as long as it effectively covers your nose and mouth.”

The Eurostar travels between the UK and France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

The new requirements come as several countries in Europe prepare to lift restrictions in the coming days. France is set to start lifting its lockdown on May 11, but will require anyone traveling to the country to self-quarantine for two weeks, The New York Times reported.

And in Belgium, stores will be allowed to reopen on May 11 with schools set to open the week after that, The BBC noted.

While the service is still running, the company has significantly cut down on service amid the pandemic. According to the company’s timetable, only four trains are running each day: one each way between London and Paris, and one each way between London to Brussels.

The UK has recorded more than 187,000 cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the spread. France has recorded more than 168,000 confirmed cases while Belgium has seen just over 50,000 confirmed cases and the Netherlands has recorded more than 40,000 cases.

The Eurostar isn’t alone in telling customers to wear face masks going forward. Last week, JetBlue said all passengers will have to wear face coverings when checking in, boarding, and deplaning. Shortly after, Delta and United joined in, requiring the masks as well and saying they will provide them if customers don’t have one.

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