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Purchasing Covid Test kits in Paris

Not sure if this question belongs here or elsewhere, but couldn't figure out where else to post.

We'll be traveling on a My Way trip soon and was debating whether to pack actual test kits in addition to masks and some cold medicine. Test kits here are expensive, and my understanding is that they are way cheaper in Europe. Then started thinking about just purchasing them there, as well as buying extras to bring home due to the cheaper cost (plus, I think you can now buy tests in Europe that test for flu strains as well as covid).

Would there be a problem buying a bunch of tests to bring home? Obviously not a ton because they have a shelf life and will expire, but would I run into problems with customs if I bring home 10 or so? Do I need to declare them? Has anyone purchased covid tests in France to bring home? Or know the current cost (approximate is fine)?

TIA

Posted by
10403 posts

Not France, but a couple of years ago I brought some tests home from England. They were only £2 each. I never considered declaring them. The days of filling out a customs form before arriving home from Europe is a thing of the past .

Posted by
6102 posts

We were able to get six free through the state of Minnesota. Also, I see you are from WA, I saw stacks of them at various places in Seattle, including the public library when I was there last fall.

I did bring some to Europe several times and flying seem to have no impact on them.

EDITED TO ADD: Some health insurances cover them

Posted by
8659 posts

Robintz, how much are they where you live? I see them around here for $10. I can think of a lot more things worth bringing home than kits.

Posted by
15 posts

We used to get them free....even our local libraries carried them. Plus the ones from the state/government. Harder to find now and locally they're about $15-20 for a 2-pack. Just figured if they were super cheap it might be worth getting some...

Posted by
9899 posts

Too bad I went to the pharmacy last night instead of this evening. I could have easily asked current price.

Posted by
6379 posts

Our test kits have expired, and we don't have time to get more before our trip. Well, Walgreen's has them for about $20; I'll wait.

Posted by
15 posts

KD- we test anytime we have symptoms or have had a known (close) exposure if we're going to be around others are at higher risk. And since it can sometimes take multiple days before testing positive, it's nice to have multiple tests handy for repeated testing. I had a friend who ended up testing positive for a LONG time and went through an awful lot of tests waiting for that negative result.

Posted by
878 posts

Our test kits have expired

The expiration dates on many test kits have been extended - there may be info on how to check in the kit's documentation. Othwise search online.

Posted by
10403 posts

I’ve never planned to get Covid, but I’ve gotten it twice. I’m fully vaccinated. Both times I was in Europe. In 2022 I tested positive in Edinburgh and in 12/23 I tested positive in Germany. Thankfully I had brought some tests with me since I took several on each trip. I was fortunate that I had very mild cases with less symptoms than a cold.

Posted by
11531 posts

What about the liquid vials the test kits contain. Are they exempt from the rules on liquids at airport security screening?

Posted by
603 posts

Robintz, that would be me too. Last May, in Paris, positive for 12 days. Knowing I was still infectious guided my activity of mask wearing, particularly on the flight home (Business Class in the very front seat so was able to have some distance from others). Unfortunately I had a rough version and felt quite unwell for 6 days which impacted all my plans for Paris. It was disappointing. We still bring tests when we travel (and we still have room for chocolate too); if I’m unwell I prefer to know what I have to the extent possible.

Posted by
10366 posts

They cost 2.50€ more or less in France. They aren’t too common anymore since most of us in Europe have been super exposed. I bought a couple two weeks ago. We have a bad allergy season this year, so you may end up having to test.

Yes, just buy them here.
Un test rapid Covid, they’ll understand you.

Posted by
5688 posts

What about the liquid vials the test kits contain.

I packed a box containing 2 tests in my carry-on and security didn’t care. I figured that if they flagged it, I could open the box and put the tiny plastic vial of liquid in my 3-1-1 bag.

I have been taking a box with 2 tests, a thermometer, and about a 3 day supply of mucinex on each of my post-pandemic trips. I got sick on one of my 3 trips and had a fever and really needed the cough medicine. I was glad to have those supplies so that I didn’t need to find a pharmacy the day I felt terrible.

With regard to the original question, I am not sure why you’d want to bother to bring kits home. I can think of much better souvenirs :)

Posted by
788 posts

We took 8 tests with us to France in late March, and we have previously taken them on domestic flights, and they sailed right through TSA--I think the amount of liquid is too small to register. I had taken the kits out of the boxes and packed them in a plastic bag so I could move them into our 3-1-1 bag if needed. Fortunately we never needed them, but I plan to take some on our upcoming trip to Switzerland.

Posted by
2017 posts

Take two from home-I believe pharmacies have some in stock. I've traveled with test kits for the last two years internationally and TSA doesn't care. Spend your trip enjoying the sites-not trying to run around finding tests.

I only used one test kit as I felt pretty lousy a few days after landing. Turns out it was just a bit of altitude sickness and Montezuma's revenge/

Posted by
6379 posts

markcw, I did check to see if the useful life of our test kits had been extended, but alas, ours had indeed expired.

Thanks for the tip, though.