Well there's some good news and some bad news.
There are some pictures and diagrams on the Saphos Trains website Saphos Trains Covid precautions demonstrating how they will fit the passengers in safely. Of note:
- They have only modified the FO coaches, so no Standard class bookings are being accepted.
- They require you to book a minimum of 2 seats (on the website at least) - no solo bookings.
I sent them an email to query the minimum two seats booking requirement. This was their (commendably swift) response:
"Due to the social distancing restriction on passenger numbers we are currently unable to accept bookings for single passengers which is the same problem for the majority of charter train operators and heritage railways. We will of course reintroduce solo passenger bookings whenever possible so it may be worth contacting us around two weeks before a train runs to see if the seating plan allows for a single person occupying two seats and if so we will be pleased to take your booking."
Seems like they (and others) are trying to carry the maximum number of passegers permitted under social distancing. They may allow last minute single bookings if it appears that there will otherwise be empty space within the train
It is a shame that solo travelers are having this issue, seems to be the case with quite a number of railways and also when trying to book space in other environments too. It is not always possible to join up with a friend all the time. However, I do hope that the railway firms & others across the spectrum do well and revive soonest.