Eurostar in "critical" state, says senior executive

Eurostar, the train operator that runs services through the Channel Tunnel, is in 'a very critical' state after a collapse in travel between Britain and the European continent, a top French rail executive warned on Friday.

The company has been crippled by the coronavirus crisis, and is currently running just one service a day between Paris and London, a far cry from the time before Covid-19 when it would operate two trains an hour during peak times.

"I'm very worried about Eurostar," Christophe Fanichet, a senior executive from France's state SNCF railways, which is the majority shareholder of Eurostar, told reporters.

"The company is in a critical state, I'd even say very critical," added Fanichet, who heads SNCF Voyageurs, the passenger unit of the network.

He said the Eurostar's passenger numbers were down 85 percent in 2020 from the year earlier and that the group was now "on a drip" in need of extra cash to prevent it from collapsing.

Meanwhile, travel restrictions keep getting tighter, with France announcing on Thursday that arrivals from Britain will need to observe a seven-day quarantine and undertake a PCR test at the end.

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