Summer 2020

Travel ideas, safety advice and ticket booking, exchange and refund info.

Last update: Tuesday 11th August at 16:37

Travel Checker

Fancy a break but not sure where you can and can't go, or what you can do there?

Use our Travel Checker tool to get all the info you need to enjoy your summer travel safely.

Holidays in Europe

Trips in the UK

Travel safety advice

Remember, you must wear a face covering when on public transport, as you could be refused travel or risk a fine of up to £100 without one. If you're exempt for age, health and disability reasons, this doesn't apply.

Travel touch free with digital tickets on your phone and get more advice for safe summer travel:

1. Book in advance on our app or website to save time

Avoid buying tickets at the station on the day

2. Go contactless with digital tickets on your phone
Bypass ticket machines or queuing. Digital tickets are available on most UK routes.

3. Seat reservations are always available with us when needed
Some train operators won't allow you to travel without a seat reservation

4. Download our app for up to date journey info

Check times before you travel and on the go. Timetables may change as services return to normal.

5. Avoid travel during peak hours

Busy times may vary

6. You must wear a face covering to travel

You could be refused travel or risk a fine of up to £100 without one. Exemptions apply.

Seat reservations needed

To help with social distancing onboard, you now need a seat reservation to travel with some train operators, including:

  • LNER - mandatory on all services
  • Avanti West Coast - highly recommended on all services
  • GWR - highly recommended on long-distance services
  • CrossCountry - highly recommended on all services

We’ll automatically include a seat reservation with any new bookings you make for journeys with these operators where required. And we’ll email you if you have an upcoming booking that’s affected by this new rule.

Face coverings needed

To travel on public transport, you must be wearing a face covering. It doesn't have to be a face mask, it can be a scarf for example, but it needs to cover your nose and mouth. You could be refused travel or risk a fine of up to £100 without one. If you're exempt for age, health and disability reasons, this doesn't apply. Children under the age of 11 or passengers with breathing difficulties won't need to wear them.

Onboard catering

Please avoid consuming food and drink on public transport, where possible. Some routes that normally offer onboard catering have had to suspend this service. Check your train operator below for details:

  • CrossCountry – No at-seat catering provided. Limited catering service.
  • London North Eastern Railway (LNER) – Limited catering service and alcohol is not permitted.
  • Transport for Wales Rail Services – There will be no catering provided on this service.
  • East Midlands Railway – There will be no catering provided on this service.
  • ScotRail – There will be no catering provided on this service.
  • Avanti West Coast - Super Voyager – There will be no catering provided on this service.
  • Avanti West Coast - Pendolino – There will be no at-seat catering provided on this service, but the buffet car will be open as usual.

Bookings, changes and refunds in the UK

The rail industry will be re-introducing pre-COVID ticket conditions and fees from Weds 26th August.

The quickest and easiest way to request an exchange or refund for your train tickets is by doing it online in three easy steps. 

Alternatively, see the refund and change conditions for Eurostar and other European operators.

You can exchange all ticket types online, regardless of booking or travel date.

Any changes must be made at least 15 minutes before your original departure date/time. We appreciate you may not know your new travel date, so feel free to change to any date within 12 weeks and you can edit this again, if necessary, nearer the time.

The rail industry will be re-introducing pre-COVID ticket conditions and fees from Weds 26th August.

From Weds 26th Aug 2020, you will be able to apply for a refund up to 28 days after the date of travel.

You can refund the following tickets online:

  • Anytime tickets
  • Off-Peak tickets
  • Super Off-Peak tickets
  • Advance Single tickets bought before, and valid for travel after, 23rd March 2020 only

We've waived the refund fee to help you during this uncertain time. The rail industry will be re-introducing pre-COVID ticket conditions and fees from Weds 26th August.  

Advance tickets bought before, and valid for travel before, 07:00 on 23rd March 2020 can only be refunded if the train was disrupted or cancelled. If so, you'll need to complete our refund request form.

Advance tickets are normally non-refundable, but train operators have made exceptions (as above) due to the current circumstances.

It can take up to 5 days to get your refund. 

If you have an account:

  1. Sign in.
  2. Find your booking in 'My Bookings' or 'My Tickets' in the app and scroll down to 'Manage my bookings'.
  3. Select 'Refund my tickets' or 'Change date/time'.

If you don’t have an account:

  1. Create an account by following the link in your confirmation email. Search your inbox for auto-confirm@info.thetrainline.com.
  2. Follow the steps above to request your exchange or refund.

If you apply for a refund from 26th Aug onwards, your refund will be from the date of request.

You can get a refund on the remaining portion of your unused Season Ticket if:

  • Your Weekly Season Ticket has three or more days' validity remaining 
  • Your Monthly or Custom Season Ticket has seven or more days' validity remaining 
  • Your Annual Season Ticket has two or more months' validity remaining 

How to request a refund for your Season Ticket:

  1. Sign in to your Season Ticket account 
  2. Select your 'Active' Season Ticket and click 'Refund' in the bottom left corner 
  3. Download and email the completed Season Ticket Refund Application Form, or just write the info in the email itself, along with a photo of your Season Ticket cut in half, to seasons.direct@info.thetrainline.com. If you have a digital Season Ticket, you don’t have to send a photo. 

Alternatively, if you don’t have access to email, we’re happy to accept handwritten versions of the form by post to: 

Seasons Department
PO Box 23971
Edinburgh
EH3 5DA

Please make sure you include all necessary details for us to process your refund:

  • Your full name
  • Company name (if your ticket is provided by your company)
  • Contact details
  • Reason for cancelling (e.g. coronavirus)

Please note: 

  • Due to a current high volume of requests, it can take up to 10 working days to get your refund.  
  • We can only issue a refund once we’ve received proof that your Season Ticket is no longer in use, as advised above. 
  • The government has confirmed that the £10 admin fee will still be charged on all Season Ticket refunds.  
  • If you applied for a refund from 12th May 2020 onwards, we will only backdate your refund 56 days from the date of request. If you apply for a refund from 26th Aug onwards, your refund will be from the date of request.

Travel in Europe

Find the latest exchange and refund info from European train and coach operators below.

Essential travel information 

Remember, the latest government advice is to avoid all non-essential travel. But, if you absolutely must travel on the Eurostar, the following condition is compulsory:

  • You must wear something that covers your nose and mouth, such as a mask, or scarf onboard trains and in stations. You will not be allowed to travel without this.

Travelling to the UK

Since 10 July, entry conditions into the UK have been relaxed: travellers arriving from France, Belgium and the Netherlands are no longer required to observe a 14-day isolation period upon entry. When entering the UK, you’re required to:

  • Provide your journey and contact details online by filling in the Public Health Passenger Locator Form.
    You’ll need to show your completed form when you arrive at the UK border, either by printing a copy or showing it on your phone. Please note that you won’t be able to submit the form until 48 hours before you’re due to arrive in the UK. These measures are for both UK residents and visitors. 
    You may receive a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100 if you fail to complete the form.
  • If you're arriving from a country not on the approved list you must self-isolate for 14 days. If you've booked or checked-in on behalf of other people, you are responsible for ensuring all members of your party are aware of these requirements and have completed the form. Read up on what to do if you’re travelling with someone under 18 years old. You may be required to provide information to Border Force officers on departure or arrival and if you haven’t completed the online form you’ll be asked to do so.
    If you fail to self-isolate for 14 days you could face a fixed penalty notice of £1,000.

The latest information and guidance on these measures can be found at: www.gov.uk/uk-border-control

Travelling to France and Belgium

You can travel to France or Belgium without restriction and without certificate since 15 June.

Since 10 July, passengers are no longer required to carry out a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in France.

For more information about travelling to Belgium see this page.

Other important travel information

Eurostar only offers one seat out of two for sale, to facilitate compliance with social distancing on board. If you purchased your ticket before implementing this measure (before the beginning of May), a yellow ticket indicating a new placement will be given to you when you pass through the access gates, once at the station.

Cancellations and refunds

If you booked your Eurostar trip with us and your Eurostar train is cancelled, please fill out Eurostar's eVoucher claim form.

Bookings departing up to and including Monday 7th September 2020

If you need to change your travel plans you can claim the value of your current booking as an eVoucher. The voucher is valid for 12 months from date of issue, for travel up to 6 months later.

Amended and cancelled services

Eurostar are adapting their timetables and reducing the number of services each day. Please check their revised timetables before travelling. 

The Business Premier lounges in Brussels, Paris and London are closed until further notice.

Catering services and WiFi are currently unavailable on Eurostar trains.

You must wear a mask at the station and on the train.

As of 2nd June, it is possible to travel freely throughout France. Self-certifications forms are not required to travel within France anymore. 100% of seats are now available on SNCF long-distance trains.

 

Travel on TGV Europe

You can only travel between Italy and France on TGV in cases of emergency, health reasons, or to return to your home and you will need the relevant self-certification forms for Italy and France.

Passengers arriving in Italy must isolate for 14 days.

Traffic and travel instructions

Traffic, suspended between March 18 and May 10, partially resumed on May 11. The number of trains is still limited at present but the trains available for sale run well.

Please consult the official guidelines of each government before planning your trips.

 

Traveling on TERs

Check the TER SNCF website the day before departure to confirm your train is running.

You’ll need a special document called a coupon d’accès to travel on the below services:

  • some trains in the Hauts de France and Bourgogne Franche-Comté region (document available 3 days before departure)
  • trains in the Center Val de Loire region (document only compulsory for subscribers and available 3 days before departure)

This non-transferable document is limited to one round-trip per day and helps predict how many passengers are travelling on a specific train, to maintain social distancing. Please make sure you have this document before buying your ticket. Where available, we’ll show you this document in your search results. Alternatively, check the SNCF Assistant or on the TER SNCF website of the relevant region.

You must print or download the document before departure, you cannot collect it at the station.

Exchanges and refunds are available for TER journeys, but exceptional refund rules and dates vary according to the region. Please complete our exceptional refund form

  • For connecting TER tickets, the rules are the same as for TGV INOUI and INTERCITÉS below.

Exchanges and refunds for TGV INOUI, INTERCITÉS, TGV Europe (international) and TER tickets:

For travel dates from 9th March to 31st August, (or from 26th February for TGV France – Italy):

  • Refunds – Please complete our exceptional refund form before your train departs.
  • Exchanges– Sign in to your account. If your departure date is from 28th May onwards, you won't pay an exchange fee, but you will need to pay any price difference between your original ticket and your new one*.


*You don’t need to pay the difference for OUIGO bookings. Changes to OUIGO bookings can be made up to 1h 30m before departure. For all other questions, please contact OUIGO Customer Service. 

 

TGVmax subscription

TGVmax subscription for April and May is free (the next charge, expected between 20th April 20 and 19th May 2020 will show as € 0).

You must wear a mask, or something covering your nose and mouth, or you will not be allowed to travel in Germany. This is mandatory on all long-distance and regional trains as well as on public transport.

Travel restrictions
There are no longer restrictions on national local and long-distance as well as international long-distance services, the regular timetables are in place. Latest information and traffic news can be found on bahn.de.

Information about flexible travel

You can use your long-distance-ticket to travel on the date of your choice up to and including 31 October 2020, provided you bought your ticket on or before 13 March 2020. Please note the following information:

Use any train

We have waived the usual restrictions regarding train-specific travel for saver and super saver fares (Sparpreis/Super Sparpreis). This means you can travel at a different time to your original booking, and you can also take a different train provided it travels the same route (i.e. you can take an ICE train even though you originally booked an IC ticket). No exchange of the ticket needed.

City-Ticket not included

The City-Ticket is not covered by our goodwill guidelines. This means that you will need to buy a City-Ticket to get to and from your departure and destination stations on the new date of travel.

Flexible international travel

You can flexibly reschedule a cross-border trip for any date up to and including 31 October. This does not apply to tickets to destinations in France. Please remember that you need to buy a new seat reservation if you want to travel on a train where seat reservations are mandatory. This is the case for journeys to Denmark, Poland, and for all journeys on IC Bus services.

Group travel

If you booked a trip for a group of people, you need to make new seat reservations before starting the journey. These reservations are free of charge.

These goodwill arrangements mean that you can also use your long-distance ticket to travel earlier than the date originally planned.

Please print out your online ticket or keep the booking confirmation with the PDF file of the online ticket. The ticket can no longer be printed following the first day of travel of the originally booked ticket.

Flixbus has cancelled all services throughout Italy, Germany, Belgium and France due to the travel restrictions imposed.

If your bus has been cancelled, you'll get a voucher automatically, sent to the email you used to make the booking.

For more information please visit the Flixbus help section here. 

You must wear a mask covering your nose and mouth to gain access onboard. If you must travel, please sanitise your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.

To guarantee your safety and that of the community, we remind you to:

  • Please do not use trains if you have symptoms of acute respiratory infections (fever, cough, cold)
  • Where possible, purchase tickets online
  • Follow the signs and routes indicated inside the stations or at the stops, always keeping the distance of at least one meter from other people;
  • Use the train access doors indicated for getting on and off, always respecting the safety distance of one meter
  • Sit only in permitted places, keeping the distance from the other occupants
  • During the trip, frequently sanitise your hands and avoid touching your face
  • Limit travel on the train

Mandatory conditions and self-declaration

If you buy a ticket to travel on Italo trains, at the time of travel you must declare the following, for you and those in your family travelling with you:

  • I am not suffering from COVID-19 or I have not been ordered to mandatory quarantine for a period of at least 14 days in the days immediately preceding my travel.
  • I am not displaying symptoms related to COVID-19 (such as body temperature exceeding 37.5°C, persistent cough, cold) and have not had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the 14 days leading up to the moment of departure.
  • I am willing to forego my travel and inform the health Authority in charge in the event in which any of the above mentioned symptoms or conditions were to emerge before my travel or within 8 days of my travel, specifying also which train route and service were used.

Find out more here

Refunds

You can refund journeys with departures up until 13th June 2020. 

Italo are offering refunds in the form of vouchers, which you can use to buy new tickets for travel within one year of issue. Use Italo’s claims form. Please select the category ‘Refund for health emergency 2020’.

Please note, you must complete a separate claim stating the relevant train number for multiple journeys and return tickets that have the same ticket reference.

The wearing of a mask is compulsory on trains for all passengers over the age of 13 and NS asks all travellers to travel only when necessary.

For the latest information on international travel, NS trains, see this page.

For information on trains within the Netherlands, please see this page.

Refunds

NS tickets valid for journeys up to and including 30th April 2020 are now fully refundable. Please email us to request your refund and avoid requesting a refund online through My Bookings as cancellation charges will be applied online.

If your ticket is valid from 1st May 2020, please wait, check for updates on this page, and do not contact us until nearer your departure date.  

Face masks are mandatory on trains and buses. Alternatively, you can use a scarf or bandana, but your mouth and nose must be covered. You will not be allowed to travel without this. 

ÖBB is gradually returning to the normal timetable. There are still some restrictions in long-distance traffic and on cross-border connections. For further information, please check ÖBB's timetable or contact ÖBB Customer Service at +43 05 1717.

Night jet connections will be resumed by end of June.

Refunds

If you bought the below tickets before 15th March 2020 inclusive, you can refund them free of charge:

  • National ÖBB tickets for journeys until 1st June 2020. You will be refunded in the form of a voucher.
  • International ÖBB tickets valid until 1st June. You will be refunded to your original payment method. The refund of tickets depends, among other things, on the currently valid entry regulations of the federal government for the individual countries. Please contact the ÖBB Customer Service.
  • Nightjet tickets for journeys until 25th June 2020. You will be refunded in the form of a voucher. 

Vouchers will be valid for one year and redeemable at ÖBB ticket counters in stations.

Please contact ÖBB's call centre to request your refund.  

You must wear a mask on all public transport in Spain, including all Renfe services or you will not be allowed to travel.

From June 22nd tickets will have the names of passengers printed on them. You must carry a valid identification document while travelling. In the case of group reservations, each passenger must have a valid identification document.

From June 1st access to the train will be closed 5 minutes before departure, please board your train in plenty of time. It is recommended you arrive at the station at least 30 minutes in advance of your departure time.

Returning from Spain

If you are returning from Spain (including from the Balearics and Canaries) you will be required to self-isolate on your return to the UK, but the FCO is not advising you to cut short your visit. You should contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.

Check the full guidance on entering or returning to the UK here.

You must wear a mask on all public transport in Spain, including all Renfe services or you will not be allowed to travel. 

From June 30th, 2 trains will circulate:

  • Paris-Barcelona (departure 10:14h)
  • Barcelona-Marseille (start 16:36h)

As of July 1st, 2 daily journeys between Spain and France will be resumed:

  • Barcelona-Paris 9702 (departure at 10:10h) and Paris-Barcelona 9713 (departure at 10:14h)
  • Barcelona-Marseille 9724 (departure at 16:36h) and Marseille-Barcelona 9731 (departure at 8:02h)

The offer of frequencies and international trains between Spain and France will be extended according to the evolution of demand.

Refunds

You can request a refund for journeys that have been cancelled or blocked until 30 August. To do so you must cancel your journey and request a full refund of your tickets, whatever the fare, before the train’s scheduled departure.

Refunds can be requested after the travel date of your ticket, up to 3 months later.

Returning from Spain

If you are returning from Spain (including from the Balearics and Canaries) you will be required to self-isolate on your return to the UK, but the FCO is not advising you to cut short your visit. You should contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.

Check the full guidance on entering or returning to the UK here.

Traffic has almost returned to normal since 8th June.

Effective Monday 6th July, masks are compulsory on all trains, buses and public transport in Switzerland including cross-border services.

SBB recommends observing a physical distance of two metres and, as far as possible, postponing travel outside peak hours.

Please check your connection immediately before departure in the online timetable, which is updated regularly.

Refunds

Tickets for travel within Switzerland

You can request a refund for any single tickets booked up to 14th March 2020 with a travel date between 14th March and 10th May 2020 inclusive using our online form.

Tickets for cross-border travel

SBB have cancelled all cross-border travel and are offering full refunds for trips up to 30th April 2020. You must request your refund before the actual date of departure using our online form.

For tickets with a departure date in the past, please contact our customer support team.

You must wear a mask onboard trains and in stations. You will not be allowed to travel without this.

The circulation of Thalys Sun Brussels - Bordeaux is suspended until August 29, 2020.

Refunds for tickets purchased before June 23

If the train is cancelled: You can postpone the trip for a period of one year from the date of the initial trip. To do this, use this form. You can also request a free refund, up to 30 days after departure, from this form.

If the train is running: Go to your account to exchange your ticket for free, up to 30 days before departure, depending on availability. For refunds, normal fare conditions apply. You can cancel your ticket from your account as well.

Refunds for tickets purchased between June 23 –August 31

Mini fare: tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

Standard, Comfort, Kid, Young and Senior: the usual after-sales costs of €15 are temporarily waived. Exchanges and refunds, therefore, become free of charge, until the departure of the train. For an exchange, the possible price difference between the old and the new ticket applies.

Premium: tickets are always exchangeable free of charge and fully refundable until the departure of the train and 50% refundable after departure, within 2 months. For an exchange, the possible price difference between the old and the new ticket applies.

Essential travel info

  • You must wear a mask covering your nose and mouth during your whole trip, at stations and onboard.

Timetable changes

Euronight services between Paris and Venice, in both directions, are cancelled.

Trains between Nice and Milan are running, with two daily frequencies in both directions. 

Traffic between Marseille and Nice will resume later.

To travel in Italy and France, “restrictions may apply and formalities may be necessary”: Thello advises customers to check official websites directly. Find out more here.

Refunds

If you need a refund please complete this form.

Essential travel info

You must wear a mask covering your nose and mouth, and gloves to gain access onboard. 

Services

High-speed, regional and cross-border services are almost back to normal and new destinations have been added. 

Refunds for international passengers 

If you are an international customer you can now request a cash refund for requests submitted by June 30th.

If you have received a voucher instead of cash refund and are unable to travel within the bonus validity period, you can convert the voucher into a cash refund, by filling in this form.  

The request must be submitted within one year from the date the voucher has been issued.

Refunds for tickets bought before 10th March 2020

You can request a refund for the following trains, regardless or the fare or route. You must do this before 30th June:

  • Frecce
  • Freccialink
  • Eurocity
  • Euronight
  • InterCity

You’ll be refunded in the form of a voucher, which must be used within a year. 

Refunds for tickets bought after 10th March 2020 

You can request a refund, regardless of the fare or route, in the following circumstances: 

  • Your train is cancelled
  • You're quarantined or are self-isolating
  • You've been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • You're travelling to high-risk areas
  • Your event has been cancelled due to COVID-19 (e.g. school trips, competitions, demonstrations, events or meetings)

You must request your refund for the following services before 30th June, regardless of the above refund reason:

  • Frecce
  • Freccialink
  • Eurocity
  • Euronight

You can must request your refund for InterCity services and Regional services before 30th June in the event of cancellation and within 30 days from the end of the period in the above second, fourth and fifth point. 

Refunds for regional trains will be in cash all other services will be refunded in the form of a voucher, which is valid for a year. 

To request a refund for a regional train please print and complete this form. Then, post it to the regional management office for your journey’s arrival city. 

If your journey is departing from or arriving at Lombardy (and your PDF ticket shows the Trenord logo), please follow these steps. 

  • Register on Trenord website. 
  • Log in to your account and fill the Covid form. ​

SNCB are running very reduced services.

Traffic will resume from 4th May 2020 and from then all customers over the age of 12 must travel with their nose and mouth covered. It will be compulsory to wear a mask or scarf on trains, in stations and on platforms.

You're advised to travel during off-peak hours (after 09:00, before 16:00, or after 18:00.) wherever possible. 

Refunds

Please contact us before your departure date for a full refund. 

FAQs

The latest government advice is to stay at home as much as possible and work from home if you can. If you must travel, please follow the safety measures. If you can, wear a face covering, use hand sanitiser, and keep a 2-metre distance from others where possible.

If you must travel, please follow social distancing, one-way systems, and queuing guidance from staff at stations and onboard. You need to reserve a seat for some train operators. Please keep a two-metre distance from others where possible.

If you must travel, you'll still need a valid ticket. Where available, we’d recommend using digital tickets for contactless travel, instead of using ticket machines or buying at the station. We’d also advise wearing a face covering and carrying hand sanitiser and using it regularly.

You can exchange all ticket types online, regardless of booking or travel date. You can  refund most tickets online too, but please check our information on ticket types and how to manage your booking online in three easy steps.

In the UK, around 50% of trains are running. If you must travel, please avoid rush hour, check the latest info for your route on our app and leave early in case there are delays at the station.