Travelling to France - June/July 2021
29 June 2021
We are delighted to report that Bob arrived at the Somme and the Butte late June after what seemed to be a decade of waiting so we thought it may be useful for anybody considering travelling to France to put a summary of what paperwork etc is required for the UK citizens entering and leaving the country. France is currently rated as an Amber country.
The French entrance rules changed from 9 June whereby anybody from the UK who was entering France had to be double vaccinated in order to avoid isolation on arrival. Bob had both jabs. The paperwork to complete certainly was a bit daunting however having done it once it would certainly be easier the next time.
To be allowed in France via the Channel Tunnel who have a very useful Covid section on their website, Bob required the following:
A private negative PCR covid test taken no longer than 72 hours before the train departing. This PCR test was carried out in Scotland at a cost of £150. The result came by email within 48 hours.
A letter from the NHS showing he was indeed double vaccinated.
A channel tunnel downloaded summary document form.
A French downloaded declaration signed as being in good health.
Before leaving the UK, Bob had to buy a 2 and 8 day covid test kit to be used when arriving back in the UK. The cost of this kit was £170. You have to provide the reference number of the kit on a French departure summary document showing it has been bought for use on his return. The link to the kit purchase was again obtained following the UK Government website.
On leaving France you need again to have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of travelling. Follow the various government links that will take you to Sante.fr where you will find that only one firm carries out the test in the Albert/Bapaume area. This firm called CERBAILLANCE ALBERT is in Albert and is across the road from the Hotel de Ville and square. They have recently relocated to the premises from the Place des Armes in Albert. The cost of this test in France is much less than in Scotland costing 44 euros. Results again come by email by 10.00pm on the same day.
At the Tunnel apart from showing the negative test certificate and downloaded Tunnel document summary form, you must complete online within two days of travelling a Passenger Location form which is part of the departure paperwork. At its simplest, this Passenger Location form tells the authorities your house, hotel location when arriving back in the UK
On arrival in the UK, we are afraid isolation is currently on the agenda even though you may be double jabbed. As above, your 2 and 8 day covid test kit will be waiting for you, ready to complete. These are easy to take but you will feel a little bit of discomfort. Read the postage rules closely also!
On departing and returning to the UK, Channel Tunnel trains were running every hour in the afternoon as opposed to the usual twenty minutes or so. It is fair to say that both Tunnel complexes were like a ghost town and the staff will probably offer to get you on the first train at no extra charge. They in essence do not want you hanging about. There are no toilet facilities on the actual train but one can use the facilities in the designated lanes awaiting going on the train.
Needless to say, the weather during his short visit was poor with literally rain every day. He will be back shortly for a much longer period, obviously hoping that the need for PCR tests and isolation on his return are a thing of the past.
We hope you find this of help. A good kicking-off point is to visit the Tunnel website Covid section and follow the links which are easy to use. Remember of course that these rules can quickly change so keep referring back and double checking.
One last point -you will also need to speak to your motor insurers regarding obtaining the current version of a Green card. This will be free.