Passenger safety and well-being on trains during the pandemic.

UPDATED: 29th June 2020

Please check here regularly for latest passenger safety and well-being measures on trains in Europe and beyond.

Across Europe, rail operators are beginning to ease travel restrictions and are slowly reintroducing services with the aim to return to full capacity in the coming months. International Rail will keep you updated on the latest measures (covering the official and latest policy straight from the railway) that railways are putting in place to keep your customers safe and well.

If you are thinking about booking a journey at this time then please do contact our experienced sales agents at and they will happy to advise on what is and is not possible at this time.

Railway Wearing mask and/or gloves Distance between seats Cleaning/disinfection of trains Services running at full capacity?
Eurostar Passengers must wear a face mask at stations and on board; a mask can be anything effectively covering face & mouth. Please note: in London St Pancras a mask is required after security and passport controls; in Paris and Brussels stations a mask is required at all times, except during passport checks; passengers are required to wear a mask onboard throughout their journey. Please note that passengers may be fined in France and Belgium from local authorities if they fail to wear a mask. Measures to keep people at a safe distance and revised seating plans on board have been implemented, in order to ensure that every other seat is left empty. Increased cleaning and processes to ensure that all trains have additional stocks of soap and toilet paper.  Intensified cleaning and disinfection of high-frequency touch areas such as tables, handles and grab bars. Water tank levels are checked more frequently than usual.   No, only a couple of services to/from Paris & Brussels.
Deutsche Bahn It is compulsory in Germany to wear a mouth/nose covering (it can be a facemask or a scarf but mouth and nose MUST be covered) when using ANY form of public transport including DB long-distance trains, and when entering stations. Options are being looked at to achieve distancing on trains, but no concrete decisions have been made at this point. DB will update on further developments.

Trains are cleaned every two hours, with cleaning staff equipped with disinfectants to sanitize surfaces. Special focus during cleaning is given to washrooms.

Stations are cleaned more frequently with special focus on ticket machines.

Handles and surfaces around doors and at seats get extra-special treatment. On many DB trains (incl. ICE/IC), hand-washing facilities in the on-board toilets now also include disinfectant.

DB is running about 75% of services. Most of the cancelled services are on Friday and Sunday afternoons. Cross-border services are greatly reduced as borders have been closed or our partners have cancelled services on their network, e.g. services to/from Copenhagen, to/from Poland and the Czech Republic or direct trains between Amsterdam and Berlin as well as Brenner services to/from Munich.
SNCB Wearing a mask is compulsory for anybody over the age of 12, on trains operating in Belgium, and in railway stations. Customers can use a homemade mask, bandana or scarf to protect themselves and others, throughout the trip, covering nose & mouth. This rule applies to regional trains to and from Aachen, as well as trains in Luxembourg. Customers must keep their distance from other passengers. Trains disinfected at regular intervals. In stations, enhanced cleaning of facilities is in place. Regular disinfection of shelves, handles, trash cans, vending machines, ramps, etc. No
RENFE - Spain Customers must bring their own mask.  Inside the train, passengers are placed one per row, seating the closest customer behind and the furthest from the previous one, trying to form a V.  In check-in areas, the required distance is marked out as per Spanish Government rules. Trains are sanitized several times per day, outside and inside, in places designated for this purpose.  The offer at this moment is 50% of the available RENFE services.
SBB - Switzerland  SBB is asking travellers to be considerate of each other and to keep a 2 metre distance.  If a two-metre distance cannot be guaranteed, the wearing of a hygiene mask is strongly recommended in accordance with the requirements of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. None offered but SBB advises wearing a mask and keeping a 2 metre distance. SBB has intensified cleaning measures: in particular, contact surfaces such as handrails, grab handles and buttons are cleaned several times a day.  As of Monday, 11 May 2020, SBB local, regional and long-distance connections will go largely back to normal.
SNCF Wearing a mask is compulsory on SNCF trains, as well as in railway stations in France, from the age of 12. Please note: a bandana and/or scarf is not allowed in France! SNCF is maintaining alternate seating in accordance with French government directives; this means that following the French Prime Minister’s announcement, SNCF is only offering one seat in two for sale in their trains. Hand sanitiser gel will be widely available at stations and ticket offices for all passengers. On the train, water and soap in the toilets are secured and checked regularly by the Cleaning Manager. If there is a temporary shortage, hand sanitiser is provided for customers. Intensive cleaning of trains, stations and shops. Cleaning is increased in shops and protective glass partitions have been installed.On trains, a complete disinfection procedure (i.e. fumigation) is implemented if infection is suspected.
Cleaning is increased and contact surfaces are disinfected with a viricidal product several times a day.
Trenitalia  When boarding the train passengers must wear a mask, as well as single use gloves Seating is arranged that the seat next to the passenger, as well as the seat in front are left free; where there are 2 rows seats the customer must seat at the window seat leaving the isle seat free.

Hand sanitiser dispensers have been installed on board Trenitalia trains; trains are cleaned & satinised daily in compliance with the protocols of the Italy Ministry of Health.

Passengers of Frecciarossa and Frecciargento trains are provided with a kit including a mask, hand gloves, hand sanitiser and a small bottle of water.

High speed trains extremely reduced; Regional offer is @ 50% and all crossborders have been cancelled for the time being.
SJ - Sweden No specifics have been published. Customers can only reserve window seats on SJ trains that require a reservation. This ensures that the aisle seat will be empty and that the Customer will be seated at a suitable distance from fellow travellers. In case a Customer has previously booked an aisle seat, SJ will ensure that the window seat remains empty or that the Customer can sit elsewhere. SJ trains are cleaned once every 24 hours, usually at night. This includes a thorough cleaning of toilets, seats, keypads, handrails, handles, walls and floors. Daytime, a more basic cleaning is done at each end station. It involves removing garbage, cleaning the floors in the bistro and a thorough cleaning of the toilets. In addition to this, a more extensive cleaning is done at different intervals, using steam cleaning machines and carpet washing machines. Yes inside Sweden, however services across borders to Denmark and Norway have been cancelled for the time being.
CD - Czech Wearing a mask is a mandatory requirement on Czech services. Distance between each passenger is implemented on all trains CD trains are cleaned every day. No 
PKP  - Poland
*** Intercity trains only ***
No specifics have been published. PKP are selling  a maximum of  50% capacity per train.  Furthermore passengers can occupy any seat within the coach and the class they bought, regardless of the seat number indicated on the ticket to maintainm distance.  All PKP Intercity trains are disinfected, especially door handles, handrails, door controls and toilets. Currently, PKP Intercity is working on expanding the disinfection service. Not full service, but no specific details given.
Thalys Wearing a mask is compulsory on all Thalys trains. Customers can use a homemade mask, bandana or scarf to protect themselves and others, throughout the trip. No specifics except the Premium offer will be unavailable until further notice to comply with social distancing measures. No specifics have been published. No, the stations of Marne La Vallée and Aéroport Paris-Charles de Gaulle will not be served. Thalys trains will not run to Bordeaux this summer.
SNCF/RENFE crossborder France<>Spain (ex-Elypsos) n/a n/a n/a No, all trains are cancelled or on stop sale until 30th August 2020.
Thello It is mandatory to wear a mask during the whole trip at stations and on board. Passengers must bring their own mask. Passengers not wearing a mask will be denied boarding. In order to comply with the rules for physical distance on board Thello trains, Thello has modified the policy for allocating seats.  Only one seat out of two can be occupied in a chessboard arrangement. A marking indicates the seats which must not be occupied, and reservation systems have been updated accordingly. Hydroalcoholic gel is available on board; Thello trains are disinfected with specific products before each departure from the terminals (Nice and Milan on Thello Day services). No, all the night trains Paris -Venice, in both directions, are cancelled until 31 July included; daytime trains Marseille-Nice-Milan, in both directions, have gradually resumed the circulation with 2 daily frequencies in both directions.
Outside Europe
Amtrak Yes, recommended; Amtrak strongly recommend customers follow CDC guidelines and wear facial coverings in public, including in stations and on trains. Signage will be displayed at a number of Amtrak busiest staffed stations six feet apart to indicate safe distances in high customer traffic areas such as waiting rooms, in front ticket offices, at the base/top of escalators, lounge entrances, etc.  Nothing official for seating on trains. Amtrak has increased the frequency of cleaning services onboard trains and at Amtrak stations and will continue to recommend that everyone follow CDC guidelines around social distancing. No, temporarily reducing coach class and business class sales to 50% capacity.
Via Rail VIA Rail is not requiring all passengers to wear masks or face covering at this time, except for passengers arriving from international trips who are using the train to get to their place of quarantine or isolation.
Although not mandatory and in a view to limit the risks of propagation of COVID-19, VIA Rail nevertheless recommends to all its passengers to wear a non-medical mask or face covering that covers the nose and the mouth when travelling on its trains and when it is impossible to respect a distance of separation of 2 metres with others.
No specifics available but Via Rail say passenger distancing is in place on their trains ViaRail is increasing how often they clean trains and stations.
ViaRail is distributing antiviral products, such as hand sanitizer, at key points of contact.
ViaRail employees have been trained in additional preventive and reactive measures as recommended by Health Canada. 
No specifics
GSR/JOURNEY BEYOND No specifics No specifics No specifics No, The Ghan, Indian Pacific and The Overland will not run until 30 June 2020.
NSW TRAINLINK No specifics NSW TrainLink regional rail and coach customers are now booked in a way to maximise social-distancing where possible. NSW have increased cleaning on trains, buses, ferries, light rail and the metro with a daily focus on hard surfaces in high-traffic areas, including handrails and Opal card and ticketing systems.  NSW is providing hand sanitiser across high volume stations across the network. No, services to Queensland are temporarily suspended.
Queensland Rail No specifics Queensland Rail is asking all customers when travelling to practice social distancing wherever possible, by maintaining a 1.5m distance between themselves, staff and other customers. This includes limiting non-essential movements throughout the train.  With advice from Queensland Health, Queensland Rail have introduced new processes onboard all services involving blocking seats in each carriage to spread customers out and maintain social distancing.  Queensland Rail has introduced additional cleaning measures with an increased focus on cleaning key touch points with antibacterial wipes prior to each service.  No, service reductions have been implemented on the Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Spirit of Queensland services as well as capping the number of customers who can be booked.
Tourism rail services are suspended including The Spirit of the Outback, The Westlander, The Inlander, The Gulflander and the Kuranda Scenic Rail trains.
RZD/Real Russia No specifics No specifics No specifics No, by Russian Government Decree all international travel to Russia is temporarily suspended.  The same applies to Mongolia and China.
Belmond Orient Express Trains No specifics No specifics Enhancement of already robust cleaning and hygiene standards using the latest COVID-19 guidance from global and governmental health bodies. No specifics
TranzAlpine, Northern Explorer and Coastal Pacific trains  No specifics No specifics No specifics No, all trains are cancelled and the services will remain suspended until further notice.
Rocky Mountaineer No specifics No specifics No specifics All services suspended until further notice.