UK-France travel agencies still await clarification on new testing rules – .

UK-France travel agencies still await clarification on new testing rules – .

UK travel agencies say they lack specific details on testing rules for people coming to France from non-EU countries, which will apply to all travelers, including those vaccinated, from Saturday December 4.
The rules, announced yesterday and further clarified in a decree today, state that travelers must show a negative result on a Covid test carried out within 48 hours of leaving for France. However, they do not clearly explain how travelers can identify a test acceptable to France.

Read more: France’s new testing rules for non-EU travelers start on December 4

On its website, Eurostar says: “The exact details, including the type of test required, have yet to be confirmed. As soon as we receive further clarification, we will update our information.

The connection also contacted EasyJet, Ryanair, British Airways, Air France, Brittany Ferries and DFDS to ask if they had received more details.

A spokesperson for Brittany Ferries said the company “is still awaiting confirmation” from the French government.

We have contacted the UK Ministries of Health and Welfare and Transport as well as the French Consulate in London and none were able to provide more information on what type of tests would be accepted. The consulate, however, said it plans to provide timely updates through its website at this link.

A Log in The reader, who is due to travel from London to Paris on Eurostar on Saturday to visit a friend, expressed frustration at the lack of clarity.

“When I booked my vacation I was aware that I had to be wary of any changes that might be made in the short term, which is why I took out insurance.

“However, two days before I left, fate had acted cruel and I must try to decipher the new rules regarding testing in order to be allowed to travel.

“The speed at which these new regulations have been put in place means we’ve been left in the dark and I don’t have any specific information on what steps I need to take to make sure I can go on vacation.

“On top of that, it is too late to change my reservation as I have booked time off and travel agencies are raising their prices in response to the panic.

“I now find myself in the precarious position of not being able to enjoy my first vacation in two years because I may not have time to react to sudden changes in the French government.

“I understand why they have to act quickly, but clarity is needed just as quickly for those in the same situation as me. “

Why is there uncertainty around the new rules?

The French government issued a decree this morning (December 2) stating that all travelers entering France from non-EU countries should take a test within 48 hours before starting their trip, and that this rule would apply. effective December 4.

He adds that: “The only antigenic tests which can be carried out are those which allow the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 N protein.”

It does not offer any further details on how this latter type of test can be identified and reserved in the UK; nor does it explicitly state that all PCR tests are acceptable, although this is a logical assumption since PCR tests have so far always been acceptable in France where a Covid test is required.

A number of UK vendors offer ‘lateral flow’ antigen tests which are not only cheaper than their PCR counterparts – typically £ 20-35 instead of £ 45-70 – but also offer results within half an hour. . PCR tests, on the other hand, take at least 24 or even 48 hours or more to come back.

Being able to pass a lateral flow test means travelers can take their test on the day of travel, in some cases at the airport or train station.

Read more: UK Day 2 Covid Test: Are Results Faster If I Use A Center In Person?

The connection contacted several private test providers in the UK to ask if their tests would be suitable for the new requirements, but none were able to say for sure.

Neither the French government nor the UK government websites have yet been updated with details of the new rules.

A spokeswoman for the British Embassy in Paris said: “We are awaiting the release of some official information following Mr Attal’s press conference. The last time [that tests were required for everyone arriving from the UK] the French Embassy in London has published a list [of approved antigen tests] but I suspect they are also waiting for clarification before they can get down to it.

“I know there will be a lot of people looking forward to the Christmas trip with anxiety, so we’ll share whatever we have. “

The previous technical requirements for antigen testing were different and did not refer to the SARS-CoV-2 N protein.

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