The Blur Rail response to the coronavirus pandemic
I hope this post finds you and your loved ones healthy and well. I am writing this working from home in Bothell, Washington, one town away from the initial epicenter of COVID-19 in the USA. I have been working from home since March 5, and I am happy to say that my family is well, comfortably practicing social distancing, and abiding by the Washington state “stay home, stay healthy” order.
We live in unprecedented times, where billions of us are under lockdown orders, and that means staying home and postponing our travel plans. As a travel agency, our first commitment is to our customer’s well-being. While I would like to encourage more travelers to choose high-speed trains over airplanes or cars, now is not the time for non-essential travel. Please stay home, and stay healthy. Business travel can be temporarily replaced with video conference services. You can still dream of vacations once the coronavirus pandemic has ended, when states and nations implement proper testing, contact tracing, and isolation methods for controlling the spread of the virus.
I am closely monitoring local travel restrictions and rail operators’ guidelines for safe, essential travel. If you find yourself needing to make an essential intercity trip within the nine countries Blur Rail sells train tickets in Europe and North America, I would be happy to provide guidance, instructions, and booking services customized for your trip. Some nations are managing the spread of the virus with effective testing, contact tracing, and isolation orders better than others. Please keep in mind many nations and states have strict policies for cross-border travel, and you should inform yourself of the possible consequences of traveling under these lockdown orders. Many train operators allow for fully refundable cancellations if timetables change given the dynamic nature of this pandemic.
Most high-speed trains are still running with limited services, increased social distancing, and increased cleaning methods to keep passengers safe. If you must travel, we expect passengers to have a responsibility to wear cloth masks, wash your hands frequently, and keep at least 2m social distance from others.
I am closely following science-based plans for lifting these important restrictions of movement, and will provide an update on Blur Rail’s change in policy when it is safe to do so.
Please don’t stop dreaming of low-carbon vacations in Europe and the Northeast USA for some time in the future, but you and your family’s health and safety is my primary concern. Best wishes and be well!