The restrictions, which will remain in place for 30 days, will also affect international air passenger transport. Only road vehicles with nine or fewer people on board will be allowed to cross the border unless they are conveying Czech citizens returning to the country or foreigners leaving the Czech Republic. However, empty passenger trains will be allowed to cross the border.

Croatia is stopping people from infected areas entering the country and Slovenia has suspended cross-border services to Italy.

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has made the following changes to services to and from Italy which will remain in effect until April 5:

  • on the Gotthard route, the 07.10, 11.10 and 15.10 Zürich - Milan EuroCity trains will terminate at Chiasso, and the 11.10, 15.10 and 19.10 trains from Milan will only run between Chiasso and Zürich, and
  • on the Simplon route, the 05.39 from Geneva to Milan and the 12.28 from Basle to Milan, and the 07.20 and 17.20 trains from Milan will only run within Switzerland.

German Rail (DB) will relax the conditions for passengers wishing to cancel or change their travel plans from March 16. Passengers with saver and super saver tickets will be able to exchange their tickets for vouchers to be used at a later date, while passengers with Flexpreis and Business Flexpreise tickets will be able to cancel them free of charge.

French National Railways (SNCF) says passengers with TGV InOui, Inter-City, Ouigo or TER tickets will be able to change the date of travel or cancel the trip without charge until April 30.

UITP guidelines

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) has published a detailed set of guidelines for public transport operators in its Management of Covid-19 factsheet which is available to view on the UITP website.

The UITP is also offering its members free webinars on the public transport response to coronavirus in English, German and French on March 19 and 27 and case studies from Shenzhen Bus in China in English and Chinese on March 24. 

IRJ’s sister magazine, Railway Age, has also published a round-up to the rail industry’s response to coronavirus on its website.