Eurostar trains to and from Netherlands cancelled for Tuesday
International trains from the United Kingdom were not going to run their routes to Rotterdam and Amsterdam for a second straight day after a series of entry bans effectively isolated the United Kingdom from the European Union. After the Dutch government on Sunday banned all passenger flights from the UK due to the outbreak of a mutated version of the coronavirus there, Belgium and France put their own stop on all ground transportation and flights originating from the former EU country.
The Dutch flight ban was expected to remain through December 31, and it later announced it would not allow passenger ferries through the end of New Year’s Day. The rail service ban and the shut down of the Channel Tunnel towards France was more complex, and was being discussed at a European level, the Dutch government said.
Eurostar trains scheduled for Tuesday between London and Amsterdam, Brussels, Lille and Paris were cancelled, as were all trains in the reverse direction with the exception of a few from Paris back to the UK. A spokesperson for Eurostar confirmed to NL Times over the weekend that they would adjust their schedule day by day as the restrictions were made more clear to them.
”We expect to receive more news on Tuesday 22 December when we’ll be able to confirm our timetable for Wednesday 23 December onwards,” Eurostar wrote in a statement on its website. “We await further details from the relevant governments on how travel restrictions will be enforced and will continue to update our website as further information becomes available.”
For the time being, citizens and residents of the Netherlands were being told to arrange for a place to stay in the United Kingdom, and were expected to solve the problems themselves. No repatriation services were being organized, keeping with Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s stance back in June that anyone traveling abroad should be aware of the risks due to rapidly changing shifts in policy to address the coronavirus pandemic. Ministers Hugo de Jonge and Cora van Nieuwenhuizen said only limited consular assistance would be available for citizens stuck in the United Kingdom this week.
Refunds were being provided for cancelled Eurostar tickets. Tickets for trains running their scheduled services will not be sold in person at the station, the rail provider stated.