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Eurostar sees bookings more than halved after new Covid testing rules enforced

Eurostar has seen the rate of new bookings more than half since tougher testing requirements for travellers were introduced, the firm has announced.

The cross-Channel rail operator also told the PA news agency that for the Christmas and New Year period more passengers are cancelling or rearranging planned trips than booking new ones.

Concerns over the Omicron coronavirus variant mean travellers entering the UK must take a pre-departure test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result from a post-arrival PCR test.

Eurostar chief executive Jacques Damas said: “We understand and support the need for governments to take actions against Covid-19 to protect public health.

“However, as the Government itself confirmed last week, the Omicron variant is likely to be dominant in the UK very soon which makes additional restrictions on travel rather redundant.

“It comes at a heavy price for the industry and brings an unwelcome additional cost for passengers at an expensive time of year.”

Mr Damas insisted that there were already “robust measures in place to allow people who need to do so to travel safely”.

He added: “We therefore ask governments to urgently remove the additional testing which is unfairly impacting the travel industry and our passengers who seek to reunite with friends and family over the Christmas period.”

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