France Imposes Testing Requirement on UK Nationals Just Days After EU Recognised NHS
Unvaccinated travellers from the United Kingdom travelling to France will have to perform a COVID-19 test upon arrival, the French Consulate in London has announced.
“From today, November 1, those travelling from the UK to France by Eurostar who are not fully vaccinated will be asked to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival at Gare du Nord. Anyone testing positive for Covid-19 will be subject to mandatory self-isolation for ten days,” the Council France Londres wrote on Twitter.
At present, the UK is placed in France’s orange category, unvaccinated and unrecovered travellers from which have to present a PCR test 72 hours before reaching France or an antigen test 48 hours before arrival, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Furthermore, UK nationals or permanent residents presenting a pre-departure test must keep in mind that the test has to be taken less than 24 hours before boarding. However, it is crucial for Britons to know that the testing requirement upon arrival is mandatory, regardless of whether they perform a PCR/antigen test pre-departure or not.
Previously, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that the European Commission has officially recognised the NHS COVID Pass, as equivalent to the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate, which in the UK is issued only to fully vaccinated nationals and permanent residents.
This means that Britons are no longer required to convert their certificates when travelling to France, as they did before prior to recognition.
On the other hand, since October 15, the French government has stopped providing free antigen and PCR tests that are taken for non-medical reasons, and they are no longer covered by health insurance, as the government is encouraging its citizens to get vaccinated.
However, those who have concerns about being infected with the virus, have been in contact with an infected person or want to get tested for medical reasons can still have access to free PCR or antigen tests provided by the government.
Children under 18 and passengers with a medical prescription are also eligible to get tested for free. An antigen test in France costs €25 while a PCR test price is around €45.
However, all travellers fully vaccinated against COVID-19, those who recovered from the virus and Pass Sanitaire holders are eligible to enter the country free of quarantine requirements.
According to the latest risk assessment published by the French authorities, unvaccinated travellers reaching the green category have to present proof of a negative PCR or antigen test for COVID-19 performed within 72 hours before departure.
On the other hand, red category arrivals who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 can enter if they provide proof they are travelling on necessary grounds. Furthermore, they have to carry a sworn statement, get tested before their trip to France and be quarantined for seven days upon arrival. They may also have to take another antigen test when they enter the country.
As per France’s epidemiological situation, the country has registered 6,361 positive cases with COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the number of infection rates since January 2020 to 6,943,779. Moreover, the cumulative total of COVID-19 related deaths is 115,277, with 12 reported just today.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reveals that 89.6 per cent of the adult population in France is vaccinated with the first shot of the vaccine, whereas 80.6 per cent is fully vaccinated.