Eurostar passengers will have to cover their faces from Monday 4 May, on pain of being refused the trip.
The railway company has stated that the rule for travelers to wear face covers complies with the directives of the French and Belgian governments.
Any type of face covering is allowed “as long as it effectively covers your nose and mouth,” according to a statement.
It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said face covers “will come in handy” as the UK eases the lock.
Johnson’s comments followed a recommendation from the Scottish government that people should cover their faces in shops and on public transport.
In its press release, Eurostar said that fines could be imposed in France and Belgium on anyone who does not cover their face.
The company offers a significantly reduced service, in line with increased border controls and a drop in travel demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Only four services operate daily between London and Paris, and London and Brussels, according to the schedules published on the company’s website.
Eurostar is a company based in the United Kingdom but its main shareholder is SNCF. The French government has said that face covers will be mandatory on public transport when it begins to loosen lock restrictions on May 11.
Current advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that two groups of people should wear protective masks, those are:
- sick and showing symptoms
- caring for people suspected of having a coronavirus
There is concern that wearing a mask could provide a false sense of security and cause people to be less careful about social distancing and other hygienic measures, such as hand washing.
WHO has said that countries need to weigh the risks and the benefits when it comes to advising the general population on wearing face coverings.