If they had arranged to screen themselves at the time, the French passengers, but British travelers living in France, would have returned home to spend Christmas with their families by re-launching Eurostar connections on Wednesday morning.
Shortly before the departure of the first train at London’s St Bangras Station at 09:06 local time and GMT, the terminal was very quiet.
A few passengers gather at the counters or show up boarding, pulling out their suitcases and picking up sesame: the negative result of the Covid-19 test.
“I had already taken the ticket on Monday and finally they postponed it until today. I hope I can leave,” he explains to 28-year-old AFP Francesco in the British capital. “Family vacations are important.”
A Eurostar spokesman told AFP that “there are sixty people on the first train” where nearly 900 seats are available.
– “Another Eight Hours” –
Sitting on a bench, Sheila Finnan, a British woman living in Paris, is unable to take the 9:00 am train and is waiting for the end of her test. “Since it was recommended,” a negative test has become a “requirement”, preparing to wait in the “eight more hours” lobby if you can’t get a ticket soon.
After two failed attempts to board the first flight on Monday, 28-year-old Valentin Flosch, who was leaving London to work in Luxembourg, “retreated” to Lilly on a Eurostar, then to Paris. “We had a negative PCR test at a private clinic.”
In total, the cost of the trip was almost a thousand pounds sterling (about 1,100 euros). Eurostar has added trains to Paris “at the last minute”, “suddenly we paid too much to go to Lilly”, throwing his partner Carolyn Garnier.
“It’s been three months since we planned our date,” the couple say, returning to France, “we were a little unlucky.”
As of Tuesday evening, 48 hours after being banned from coming to the UK due to a strain, French authorities have paved the way for the arrival of their compatriots in London, which has been hit hardest by the new corona virus.
French and foreigners residing in France or the European area, as well as those who “have to make the necessary trips”, can now cross the border, but must be the result of a negative test (less than 72 hours before departure), PCR or antigenic, which The French government says it is sensitive to the corona virus and its variants.
In Saint-Pancras, agents are allowed to distribute lists of laboratories. Some passengers left empty-handed, unable to board the train.
– “No hurry” –
At the port of Calais, vehicles carrying passengers from Wednesday to Dover on Tuesday night reopened outbound traffic with the United Kingdom, an AFP reporter noted.
On the side of the Channel Tunnel, the first passengers passed by at 2 a.m., the first trucks had time to do the checks – a spokesman said they had to cross the Pass-de-Galile at the end of the morning. From Ketling (Eurotonal).
Clement Beyonc பிர, the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, spoke of an “adaptation” of the number of trains and planes connecting the United Kingdom with France in agreement with the operators.
“We do not see the arrival of bookings, so there is no reason to add trains. () There is no urgency,” a Eurostar spokesman said.
The company has resumed its service – greatly reduced by an epidemic – of four London-Paris tours and two London-Brussels tours per day.
Meanwhile, Air France resumed its regular schedule on Wednesday with four rounds between Paris and London, two rounds between Paris and Manchester and one round trip between Paris and Edinburgh.