Eurostar trains will not stop in stopping at Ashford or Ebbsfleet in Kent until 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company has announced.

Since March the services have not stopped in Kent and this has been extend for the next two years.

Passengers in Kent will have to start their journeys at St Pancras in London.

Further timetable changes for the next year are expected, shifting focus to core routes and destinations.

A Eurostar spokesman said “A 90% reduction in bookings and unpredicatable quarantine restrictions” had lead to the change.

“Given the uncertain outlook, it is crucial that we adapt. Taking action to reduce our costs so that we protect our business for the future,” he said.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) has urged the government to intervene in a bid to avert job losses.

Manuel Cortes, general secretary, said: “We will do all we can to work with the company to protect jobs, but we must see meaningful discussions for our members about options for those working at these two stations.

“Ministers can’t be allowed to sit on the sidelines. They must act now.”