Coronavirus Train Disruptions – Southern Europe

By Edward | Coronavirus

May 21
Frecciargento empty

Coronavirus Train Disruptions - Southern Europe

Southern Europe is very much in the grips of a nasty second wave. And this time the Balkans are badly hit too. 

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Italy - coronavirus rail disruptions

🇮🇹

Face-masks are mandatory on all Italian trains. It seems you also need to wear disposable gloves. Social distancing distance is 1 m.

Italy border status

Here you can see which borders you can cross by train. Restrictions may apply. Be sure to check these.

Open
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Austria
Closed
  • Slovenia

Italy has gone back into a nasty lockdown. Travel is severely restricted. 

International Services

International services are suffering again.

  • Swiss local trains reach Domodossola. 
  • Thello services to Nice and Marseille are running
  • TILO regional services between Ticino and Lombardy are running at half their normal rate
  • Services from Vienna to Venice cancelled
  • Nightjets still running. Private compartments are mandatory.
  • Eurocity services from Switzerland to Italy mostly cancelled
  • The Thello night train from Venice to Paris remains cancelled.

National Services

Presumably to ease contact tracing, all LeFrecce, Intercity and Eurocity tickets are now personalised. That is, with your name and for your use only.

From what I can tell, Trenitalia seems to be running all its trains.

On regional trains, only 50% load is recommended. Dunno what that is supposed to mean.

Italo is running at the moment, but at a reduced rate. I found one daily train between Venezia Santa Lucia and Roma Termini. I do hope they survive. Here is their timetable in full:

Rules of train travel on Trenitalia

Refund policies

Trenitalia refunds all tickets fully. Long and medium distance tickets are reimbursed as a voucher, local tickets are reimbursed in cash.

Italo reimburses you with a voucher that can be used for up to a year.

Click here for all the Trenitalia details.

Updated: 26th November. Outlook: getting worse

Spain - coronavirus rail disruptions

🇪🇸

Spain border status

Here you can see which borders you can cross by train. Restrictions may apply. Be sure to check these.

Open
  • France
Closed
  • Portugal

Face masks (mascarillas) are mandatory in all Spanish trains. Social distancing distance is 2 m. 

International Services

Services to France are running.

Services between Portugal and Spain remain suspended.

National Services

There is much less about coronavirus on the Spanish Railways' website, Renfe.com. Random queries come up with a lot of trains. I assume most trains are running, but not all seats sold.

There are 15 trains daily between Madrid and Barcelona on my last check.

Refund policies

Spain has reintroduced the state of emergency and all tickets can be exchanged free of charge. Spain-France: all tickets exchangeable at short notice up until 4th January 2021.

Updated: 26th November. Outlook: stable

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Portugal - coronavirus rail disruptions

🇵🇹

Face masks are obligatory in Portugal. The social distancing distance is 2 m.

Portugal border status

Here you can see which borders you can cross by train. Restrictions may apply. Be sure to check these.

Open
Closed
  • Spain

International services

All international services suspended.

National services

Local and regional services are mostly running.

Alfa Pendular and Intercity services are severely reduced and running to this schedule here

Here is CP's coronavirus page.

Refund policies

Refund policies are as usual.

Updated: 26th November. Outlook: stable

Bulgaria - coronavirus rail disruptions

🇧🇬

Face masks are mandatory on all Bulgarian trains. Social distancing distance is 1 m. 

Bulgaria border status

Here you can see which borders you can cross by train. Restrictions may apply. Be sure to check these.

Open
  • Serbia
  • Romania
Closed
  • North Macedonia
  • Greece
  • Turkey


Here is BDZ's live timetable. I've set the link to show you the departures from Ruse, Bulgaria's northern frontier. 

International services

International services, such as are scheduled in autumn, are running.

Services to Turkey and Greece remain suspended indefinitely

National Services

All domestic services are running. In sleepers, only single berths are being sold.

Refund policies

Refund policies are unchanged. BDZ assume no liability if you are prevented from making your journey.

Updated: 26th November. Outlook: stable

Greece - coronavirus rail disruptions

🇬🇷

Face masks are mandatory on Greek trains and the social distancing distance is 2 m.

Greece border status

Here you can see which borders you can cross by train. Restrictions may apply. Be sure to check these.

Open
Closed
  • Bulgaria
  • North Macedonia
  • Turkey

International services

All international services are suspended.

National Services

National services seem to be running normally.

Only half the seats are being sold and all windows are unlocked to increase ventilation (yay! open windows!)

Here is a nice video showing what Trainose does for your safety.


Refund policies

I can't find them. As the first shock waves have passed, reimbursement has become less of an issue, I assume.

Updated: 26th November. Outlook: stable


Now what?

Well, I'm going to update this page every week. Truth be told, I'm up for some distraction now.

  1. Why not have a look at my other posts and plan for better times
  2. Or look at my coronavirus page, where I have all my coronavirus-writing in one place
  3. Or join my free Rail Guide Europe club and get the password to my insider guides

FREE Access

Join my Rail Guide Europe Club FREE

Sign up now and gain instant access to:


  • The password to my Insider Rail Guides
  • My FREE Telegram help group
  • Ask me Anything status by email

About the Author

After crisscrossing Europe for 6 years as a train conductor, I guide intrepid travellers roaming Europe by rail.

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