Navigating the minefield of tests and paperwork to drive to France

Apollo 13

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We are double vaccinated since March. Our 2nd tests have the dreaded Indian batch numbers. Further research makes me think this is a storm in a teacup. It is probable that these batch numbers were made in India, maybe even from the same Brewing vats as the Covishield that is made for use in India and Africa. However they were labelled as Vaxevria and shipped to the Uk where they were batch tested by the MHRA along with all the European made Vaxevria. They are therefore as far as I can tell covered by the same regulations as any other Vaxevria. If you were injected in India with Covishield you may have a problem entering the Eu. The British government says no Covishield has been used in the Uk. They are right it is apparently all in the name and the batch testing .
On this basis we are investigating going to France.
As of 19th July the tests needed are a pretravel test in England, a pretravel test in France, and a day 2 PCR test on return. The pretravel tests in both directions can be lateral flow tests the French require this to be taken within 48 hours of travel there is some confusion whether the Uk is also 48 or 72 hours.
You cannot use NHS lateral flow tests. Several businesses offer such tests for around £30 per test c19testing.co.uk is one such which is on the government list. The way they work it is they send you the test in the post. You self administer and email a photo of the finshed test with your passport. They email back a certificate this should easily happen within 48 hours. They suggest you get 2 and take one with you to self administer before your return.
As far as the PCR day 2 test is concerned the simplest is a boots home test kit £65. This you post and get the result within 2 days. So it seems the cost per person is of the order of £125
Thanks for the detailed update. It looks to me that its by no way a fool proof system though, and given that the level of virus in france and across europe is as high if not higher than most regions in the UK, and the possibility of false results etc. the only really important factor is has the traveller been fully vaccinated? So I predict that before long countries will drop the PCR tests as they can't be trusted anyway and vaccination certificates will be the only requirement.
Reports today (13th) from france seem to suggest new restrictions are about to be imposed, so its worth checking this out.
We've put our return to travels abroad on hold this year until some sort of logical processes are brought in. I've never been in favour of jumping through hoops just to help sham regulations gain recognition to appease the voting public only to be quietly dropped when seen to be ultimately pointless.
 

Derekoak

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I posted this elewhere but this is the " Independent " newspaper travel expert answering a question
: What is the situation for people who have received one of the AstraZeneca vaccines reported to have been made in India to travel to France? The NHS app shows these as Vaxzevria which is listed on the French government site as approved, But there appears to be no official guidance on whether people can travel to the EU as “vaccinated” if they have received this vaccine.


Ali H

"A: I have heard absolutely no reports of any British people being turned away from France because of the batch number on their AstraZeneca vaccines. The transport operators I have contacted report the same.

Malta, however, has just imposed restrictions. A statement from the government said: “The AstraZeneca vaccine from the batch numbers: 4120Z001, 4120Z002 and 412Z003, also known as Covishield, will not be an accepted proof of vaccination for entry to Malta.”

I am urgently trying to find out why the Mediterranean nation has imposed this restriction."

The fact that he discovered that Malta is a problem shows that he has investigated the answer even though the question was about France
 

suneye

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Having two vaccines gives you some protection but will not stop you getting covid. I know 4 people, double vaccined, who have had Covid recently and got ill although not ill enough to go to hospital and were able to return to work in weeks rather than months. However, it does mean that two vaccines are not a super shield for you or those around you.
 

Derekoak

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So we have decided to take the plunge. Next monday dover Calais. Antigen test ordered, previous ferry booking transferred. Masks and stay on deck if the weather at all allows . We will go running in the alps so we will not be likely to get infected. Supermarkets for food every 5 days, ffp3 masks and early in the day will be our nearest human contact.
 

Derekoak

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Having two vaccines gives you some protection but will not stop you getting covid. I know 4 people, double vaccined, who have had Covid recently and got ill although not ill enough to go to hospital and were able to return to work in weeks rather than months. However, it does mean that two vaccines are not a super shield for you or those around you.
Yes that is true. With Johnson aiming at herd immunity by infection at up to 200,000 cases a day by 6 weeks time. We will be better off in France and watch the Uk Petri dish experiment from afar. Of course if we acheive herd immunity before winter that might be a good thing to come back for!
 

tidewatcher

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After a very confusing net return search regarding travel to Ireland AFTER the 19th. I finally got confirmation from Stena Lines that the NHS prof of double jab over three weeks from the last jab means no pcr test is required. You still need to fill in a passenger locator form though. It is worth bearing in mind that due to our rather sporty rate increase the EU may place a “handbrake” control on any country which looks like a threat so certainty remains elusive in these strange times.
 

witzend

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Just found this thought it might help
a negative PCR test dating from less than 72 hours before the departure or a negative antigen test less than 48 hours before
 

colinm

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and given that the level of virus in france and across europe is as high if not higher than most regions in the UK,
The last figures I've seen, the UK has vastly higher infection rates than most, if not all the EU.
It was quoted last week (but I've not checked the figures) that the UK is seeing as many new infections as the entire EU, certainly France is only seeing 1/10 of the infections we are seeing, and Germany is about 1/30.
 

TeamRienza

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This site is interesting, https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

Whilst the Uk had over 36,000 new cases yesterday, Spain alone had nearly 44,000 new cases. What I also find interesting is the column showing tests per million of population. On the face of it, apparently the uk has tested many many more than other countries. The assumption (right or wrong) must be that countries like France and Germany have figures that are unreported.

Davy
 

Derekoak

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Apparently doubke jabbed people returning from France next week will have to have day 2 and 8 tests and quarantine for 10 days although France is still amber .
It seems a bit distant to us as we will not return for months and it was always wait and see for what the rules are then.
 

Derekoak

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This article makes one think the uk government is worrying about very little. Efficacy of vaccines against beta variant 77% efficacy of vaccines against delta 79%. The French are much more worried about the delta variant which is spreading rapidly as it is much more contagious . The figures show that french cases of Beta are just over 2000, similar to Germany, uk cases are 880. However the French figures include overseas territories such as Reunion where cases are 100% beta. The article says mainland french cases of Beta are 4.5% whilst a graph shows about 15% so it could be that most are in overseas territories.
If all that is correct then I would hope that the restrictions against France will not come to much.
 

kwismason

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Back to the topic of the thread - France :) If you test positive in France, just before your return, are there any issues on driving back into the UK and the doing the 2 day and self-isolation - you don't have to stay in France until your clear do you?
 

kwismason

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We are double vaccinated since March. Our 2nd tests have the dreaded Indian batch numbers. Further research makes me think this is a storm in a teacup. It is probable that these batch numbers were made in India, maybe even from the same Brewing vats as the Covishield that is made for use in India and Africa. However they were labelled as Vaxevria and shipped to the Uk where they were batch tested by the MHRA along with all the European made Vaxevria. They are therefore as far as I can tell covered by the same regulations as any other Vaxevria. If you were injected in India with Covishield you may have a problem entering the Eu. The British government says no Covishield has been used in the Uk. They are right it is apparently all in the name and the batch testing .
On this basis we are investigating going to France.
As of 19th July the tests needed are a pretravel test in England, a pretravel test in France, and a day 2 PCR test on return. The pretravel tests in both directions can be lateral flow tests the French require this to be taken within 48 hours of travel there is some confusion whether the Uk is also 48 or 72 hours.
You cannot use NHS lateral flow tests. Several businesses offer such tests for around £30 per test c19testing.co.uk is one such which is on the government list. The way they work it is they send you the test in the post. You self administer and email a photo of the finshed test with your passport. They email back a certificate this should easily happen within 48 hours. They suggest you get 2 and take one with you to self administer before your return.
As far as the PCR day 2 test is concerned the simplest is a boots home test kit £65. This you post and get the result within 2 days. So it seems the cost per person is of the order of £125
Brilliant post Derek - thank you!
 

witzend

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Back to the topic of the thread - France :) If you test positive in France, just before your return, are there any issues on driving back into the UK and the doing the 2 day and self-isolation - you don't have to stay in France until your clear do you?
As far as I understand it you stay until you test clear. I'd be happy to hear different
 

Derekoak

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Back to the topic of the thread - France :) If you test positive in France, just before your return, are there any issues on driving back into the UK and the doing the 2 day and self-isolation - you don't have to stay in France until your clear do you?
As far as I know you cannot travel on ferries or cross borders whilst positive. I am ready to isolate in the camper until clear. I have thermometer and blood oximeter to see how we go. There is a form to sign before embarkation whereby you state you are clear.
You should take particular care to do nothing dangerously infective to avoid that scenario.
This site is interesting, https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

Whilst the Uk had over 36,000 new cases yesterday, Spain alone had nearly 44,000 new cases. What I also find interesting is the column showing tests per million of population. On the face of it, apparently the uk has tested many many more than other countries. The assumption (right or wrong) must be that countries like France and Germany have figures that are unreported.

Davy
We have received 21 lateral flow tests and only used 9. I suspect the Uk counts what they have sent out. Over reporting to make you look good seems a more likely politicians action?
 

Derekoak

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We have just received our negative lateral flow test result and certificate for our ferry at 5.50 am Monday. That is 6 hour from taking the test just more than 5 hour from registering it online with c19testing.co.uk . So hopefully good to go to the next hurdle
 

Compo

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hi sorry to hijack this thread but i have had both jabs and intend to sail portsmouth to santander and drive into the algarve anyone know if i will have any covid related border problems ?
 

MadRssss

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Unless I have read it wrong, but I believe from Monday, if you are fully vaccinated, France are allowing travel from any country, without the need for a negative test
 

Derekoak

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Unless I have read it wrong, but I believe from Monday, if you are fully vaccinated, France are allowing travel from any country, without the need for a negative test
Thanks for that I have checked again what we were reading from uk govt advice only days ago and it has changed. We could have kept those tests for the return.
 

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