Eurostar has told passengers they must wear a face mask or face covering from May 4 or they could be refused travel.

The move follows guidelines issued by the French and Belgian governments.

The rail operator, which is running a significantly reduced service to Paris and Brussels, has told passengers to ensure they have a mask at Eurostar’s stations and on board.  Any type of mask is suitable as long as it effectively covers the passenger’s nose and mouth.

Without a mask, Eurostar warned on its website that passengers could be refused entry to its stations and trains and that fines could be imposed in France and Belgium.

Following a tightening of border controls by the French government.  passengers are only allowed to cross the border into mainland Europe if they are EU citizens of mainland continental Europe returning home to their main residence; UK and non-Eu citizens with a residency permit in an EU country; or essential workers.