Passenger ferry traffic has been severely disrupted during the Covid lockdown period but the Eurotunnel service has remained open, carrying 41,000 vehicles in May, even when there were restrictions on travel.
Its attraction for many people is due to the ability to travel in your own vehicle with minimal contact with anyone else – and Eurotunnel is using the “safe bubble” theme as a strong point in its summer travel promotion.
With French travel restrictions now being lifted for trips within Europe, here is a summary of information you need to know if you are considering using Eurotunnel:
The schedule has been changed due to a fall in demand - on Monday, June 22, services ran every hour from 6h to 22h, with one-way prices for UK-France travel set at £175, while France-UK tickets varied from €135 to €245, depending on the time of travel. Check the timetable online and your ticket to be sure you arrive at the terminal on time.
- Terminal buildings are closed except for the toilets so make sure you buy food and drink for the crossing before arriving.
- Toilets on the train are not available, so use the ones in the terminal buildings or next to the loading lanes before the crossing if you need to.
- If you have a Flexiplus ticket, the usual main lounge is closed. WiFi, Starbucks coffee from a machine and toilets are still available from the lobby.
Before going from France to the UK you have to fill in and sign a sworn statement on an on-line form available at https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk. It must either be printed out or stored on your smartphone.
The information on the form will be used to monitor you during the compulsory 14-day quarantine period for arrivals in the UK (the quarantine is due to be reviewed at the end of June).
This quarantine applies for Britons and those returning to the UK after a trip abroad.
- Everyone over 18 must have a copy of the form. Under-18s travelling with adults should be included on the same form, if they arrive and leave together, and stay at the same UK address.
- When travelling from Folkstone to Calais, you need to fill in Advanced Passenger Information forms once you have a booking reference and booking password. You do this on the Eurotunnel website. It is the same information required for plane tickets and ferries too.
- You will need your passport.
- You do not need to wear a mask while sitting in your car for the trip.
- After making your booking, at check in, you will receive your ticket with a rear-view mirror hanger either from check-in staff or from the machine, and this can be done from the numberplate of your car if you gave the information when booking. Once your hanger is in place you do not need to have physical contact with anyone, and you are advised to travel with your windows closed. However, a reader told Connexion she was told to keep the window partly down and had to get out of the car for border controls.
- In order to reassure clients, Eurotunnel is introducing refundable options as well as rebooking options on all its tickets, so if the health situation changes and you cannot make the journey, you will not lose your money.
- As always, if you are travelling in a vehicle over 1m85 high, including a roof box, you must make special arrangements, either at the time of booking or through the Eurotunnel contact centre before travelling. If you do not, you risk holding up everyone behind you.
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