Trains between UK, Netherlands cancelled as Belgium bans UK travel
Following the Dutch government's decision on Sunday to ban all passenger flights from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands to stop the spread of a mutated version of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the Dutch rail company NS and train operator Eurostar have announced that there will be no connection to London on Monday. Soon after the Dutch flight ban went into effect, the Belgian government decided to close its borders to travelers from the UK arriving by air and by rail starting at midnight on Monday. Germany was also set to begin restricting air traffic from the UK starting on Monday, that country’s health minister announced.
The situation remains uncertain. The NS told the NL Times on Sunday that a train from the UK would arrive in the afternoon, then one last train would depart Amsterdam for London at about 4:45 p.m. Following that, "from tonight, there will be no Eurostar trains for the next 24 hours. What will happen next is still unknown because the government of Belgium has not yet clarified this."
Eurostar confirmed the 24-hour stop on trains from London to Brussels, including those which continue on to Rotterdam and Amsterdam. They said the Belgian government plans to review their decision on Monday, and Eurostar will adjust their schedule based on that government’s decisions.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday that parts of England, including London, will go into strict lockdown due to a more contagious mutation of the coronavirus. To limit the spread of this new variant in the Netherlands, the Dutch government banned all passengers' flights from the UK, starting at the stroke of midnight on Sunday morning.
In the Netherlands, the ban does not include car, ferry, or train travel, but the measure in Belgium was more exhaustive. Travelers departing from the United Kingdom will not be able to enter Belgium either by plane or by train for at least 24 hours starting from midnight on Monday. Trains between London and Amsterdam also cross French territory and make scheduled stops in Belgium
A spokesperson for Eurostar did not yet know if Eurostar would be allowed to run trains directly between London and the Netherlands without stopping in Belgium as it is a complex issue that requires coordination between multiple governments, their infrastructure authorities, and the teams working at stations and in operations. Travellers booked on trains which were cancelled will be offered a refund, both Eurostar and the NS confirmed.