Navigating the minefield of tests and paperwork to drive to France

Colinc

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To return to uk …

1. within 3 days prior to return to uk get a covid test. A rapid antigen will do. Easily obtained in pharmacies in France. It must positively identify you (so passport number etc). You can get kits to take with you that run online tests while watching you. But really easy (and often cheaper) to get in France (or wherever you start home).

2. I assume you are double jabbed. When you know the date you will return book a “Day 2 PCR” at an approved uk testing centre. A minefield and the cheapest ones probably wont work out. Simplest are those that send you a self testing kit. Check how you return it to them as some require drop off in inconvenient places. You probably dont care about getting results - unless positive for some reason. Best tip to select a test is like looking at a restaurant wine list. You dont want to drink the cheapest nor be fleeced by the most expensive. Start checking about a third of the way down the list - and read how you get the test and return it to them.

3. Within 24 hours of return fill in the UK passenger locator form. You will need the reference number from the test you booked in 2. Keep the scan code you get when submitting this form.

4. Travel home. You will need to show 1 and 3 ad infinitum. Best to print if you can or put in an easy to find place on your phone.

The UK border is the worst in Europe to cross right now. Expect lots of questions from jobsworths. Not just covid but all sorts of brexit related crap. But if you have done 1-3 you should be OK.

If you havent been double jabbed best advice is to get those jabs. Otherwise 2 is much more complex.
 
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Colinc

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Just checked and going to France is really easy right now. If double jabbed fill in a declaration form and show vaccine proof from nhs app.

Same in most of Europe too. Just not the uk.
 

Annsman

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Update. For France, from the 16th of August you need the French QR code app. It’s easily downloaded from whatever App Store your phone uses. It’s call “tousAntiCovid app”. On it you transfer your UK QR code. I did it by getting the PDF copy on my laptop, from our NHS app, photographing it with my phone and transferring it to their app wallet. It’s a lot easier than it sounds! You need it for malls, shops, leisure places etc.
 

Annsman

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Update. For France, from the 16th of August you need the French QR code app. It’s easily downloaded from whatever App Store your phone uses. It’s call “toys AntiCovid app”. On it you transfer your UK QR code. I did it by getting the PDF copy on my laptop, from our NHS app, photographing it with my phone and transferring it to their app wallet. It’s a lot easier than it sounds! You need it for malls, shops, leisure places etc.
Should read “tousAnticovid’ app
 

REC

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To return to uk …

1. within 3 days prior to return to uk get a covid test. A rapid antigen will do. Easily obtained in pharmacies in France. It must positively identify you (so passport number etc). You can get kits to take with you that run online tests while watching you. But really easy (and often cheaper) to get in France (or wherever you start home).

2. I assume you are double jabbed. When you know the date you will return book a “Day 2 PCR” at an approved uk testing centre. A minefield and the cheapest ones probably wont work out. Simplest are those that send you a self testing kit. Check how you return it to them as some require drop off in inconvenient places. You probably dont care about getting results - unless positive for some reason. Best tip to select a test is like looking at a restaurant wine list. You dont want to drink the cheapest nor be fleeced by the most expensive. Start checking about a third of the way down the list - and read how you get the test and return it to them.
Add to the above about cheap tests, in fact any test....pay by credit card to ensure you will get a refund if you end up with a "dodgy" provider who does not supply the service paid for. We never got our test results sent 12/5/21! But we did get refunds from credit card...(not provider, who are still listed on gov.uk)
 

2cv

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This may have been mentioned before but just a heads up about passport validity. A friend was recently prevented from travelling to France because whilst their passport did not expire until 2022 it had been issued in 2011 with an expiry date based on when her previous passport ran out. A passport is now only valid for 10 years from date of issue. Link
 

jacquigem

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This may have been mentioned before but just a heads up about passport validity. A friend was recently prevented from travelling to France because whilst their passport did not expire until 2022 it had been issued in 2011 with an expiry date based on when her previous passport ran out. A passport is now only valid for 10 years from date of issue. Link
Yes, just checked ours and we are in the same position, passports seam to have been issued for 10 years and 6 months, thanks for heads up.Bloody government changing things !
 
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Derekoak

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We are on the ferry back to the UK. Dfds 's new longer one.
Getting back was harder than going. We spent an hour and 58 euro (standard price) in a small French town getting 2 negative lateral flow tests and certificates. It could have been quicker if we had accepted texts of our results. This was all done in a tent on the pavement.
We booked our day 2 pcr tests to be posted to our home address for our arrival. They cost 118 pounds. They have to be posted at our cost. We had to fill in a dfds form and the passenger locator forms, which needed the pcr numbers to be complete.
All worth it for 2 months in a country which is sensible about masks and vaccinination and living with covid. Of course now we only have 1 month left in the next 4 months.
We were only ever indoors in public places in supermarkets and then we and most people were fully masked. The weather in the Alps was great.
 

Val54

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If anybody is venturing across to europe, then you can sort both pcr and lateral flow tests in the UK before you leave. The Coop pharmacy (there may be others) will supply the lateral flow test kit to take with you. Simply take the lateral test when needed, email the results and get a certificate email back. Similarly they supply the day 2 pcr test which will give you the locator form entry. Of course, the pcr test requirement for double jabbed may soon be history 🤔
 

Jo001

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Simply take the lateral test when needed, email the results and get a certificate email back
Does it not need to be independently verified? Anyone could just make up the result as clear, couldn't they?
 

Val54

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Does it not need to be independently verified? Anyone could just make up the result as clear, couldn't they?
It is verified, your result is emailed back to the Coop appointed lab and they issue the certificate. Obviously you have to have bought their test kit which is CE marked and approved. It just saves the hassle of finding a local pharmacy or lab with an approved test available.
 

Jo001

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It is verified, your result is emailed back to the Coop appointed lab and they issue the certificate. Obviously you have to have bought their test kit which is CE marked and approved. It just saves the hassle of finding a local pharmacy or lab with an approved test available.
Couldn't people just lie about the test being negative?

Sorry, scratch that - someone just explained it is the actual -ve test you send back rather than reporting back the result.
 
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Derekoak

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The whole thing is open to abuse as you could privately use a negative persons mouth and nostrils if you were positive.
As I do not have to quarantine from entry until I receive the results of my test I do not see how the day 2 test really helps? I am not sure how a positive result would be policed anyway.
Last time I was pcr tested, test and trace did not get the result back until day 10 of my outdoor contact with a covid positive person.
The lateral flow test before entry to the UK seems all that is needed unless a proper quarantine procedure was in place?
The sensible thing to do would be put the nhs in control of travel quarantine/tests with a standard charge for the test.
 

Annsman

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Just a quick update on travel through France and Spain. Getting into France was easy. Double jabbed and got both UK and French app, so no problems at all. Passport stamped with an exit date. Note. I did state on another thread this hasn’t happened. It had, I just never checked properly!
Once in France mask wearing is pretty common and expected virtually everywhere indoors. Lots of free hand gels around when entering places too.
I had concerns about the test into Spain, I’d had different info on the Spanish website. I got an antigen test by walking into a pharmacy and asking! 15 minutes later all done with results in paper and on the app.
No one checked anything going into Spain! Even toll booths on the motorway were free right down to Murcia. Masks and gels are also very common/compulsory in Spain.
So that’s it! We’re not back until November, (if they give you 90 days, use ‘em is my motto!) So I’m not bothered yet with what I need to get back.
Haste la vista compadres!
 

alcam

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Just a quick update on travel through France and Spain. Getting into France was easy. Double jabbed and got both UK and French app, so no problems at all. Passport stamped with an exit date. Note. I did state on another thread this hasn’t happened. It had, I just never checked properly!
Once in France mask wearing is pretty common and expected virtually everywhere indoors. Lots of free hand gels around when entering places too.
I had concerns about the test into Spain, I’d had different info on the Spanish website. I got an antigen test by walking into a pharmacy and asking! 15 minutes later all done with results in paper and on the app.
No one checked anything going into Spain! Even toll booths on the motorway were free right down to Murcia. Masks and gels are also very common/compulsory in Spain.
So that’s it! We’re not back until November, (if they give you 90 days, use ‘em is my motto!) So I’m not bothered yet with what I need to get back.
Haste la vista compadres!
Exit date being when you must leave not your ferry date ?
 

Snapster

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The whole thing is open to abuse as you could privately use a negative persons mouth and nostrils if you were positive.
As I do not have to quarantine from entry until I receive the results of my test I do not see how the day 2 test really helps? I am not sure how a positive result would be policed anyway.
Last time I was pcr tested, test and trace did not get the result back until day 10 of my outdoor contact with a covid positive person.
The lateral flow test before entry to the UK seems all that is needed unless a proper quarantine procedure was in place?
The sensible thing to do would be put the nhs in control of travel quarantine/tests with a standard charge for the test.
We travelled to the U.K. a couple of weeks ago. Booked our day 2 test with the cheapest company we could find. (£28 each). Took the tests and sent them off. A week later we got the results ( neg)
When you fill in your passenger locator form you have to enter the day 2 test kit reference number and I assume ( probably wrongly) that the results are sent to the government to follow up on a pos result ( otherwise, what’s the point of the passenger location form?)
But, if ours were positive, I don’t know how they would know where we are. We put our location as “ travelling in a motorhome”
 

Val54

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I think they are only checking positive results for new variants , presumably they would able to trace your vehicle registration from transit records should you be unfortunate enough to catch a new deadly strain. After that everyone would be looking for you 🤔😂
 
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