When should people take the pre travel covid test? Before departing to France? After landing but before starting tour? And how many covid tests should a person bring? Are rapid covid tests available in pharmacies as they are in the US? Does everyone on the tour automatically get tested during the tour? Do the travelers supply those covid tests? I am trying to pack in one carryon. Any advice appreciated.
I believe you need to show the test result to the guide the afternoon before the first meeting, that test should be recent, timing depends on when you arrive. A couple of tests should be fine, you can buy them there. Testing is at your discretion, if you feel you have been exposed, or have symptoms, I think it would be prudent to test, but from discussion on here, it is not mandatory. In an extreme case, I suppose a guide may request or suggest you test. You are responsible for providing or finding a test; if the guide is familiar with the area, they can direct you to a pharmacy or test center.
I think you should test before flying to Europe just for your own information.
You need to test the day that your tour starts and show the test and vaccine card to the guide. This happens just before the first tour meeting.
You are not required to test after that unless you have symptoms or are a close contact.
I suggest bringing a proctored test kit with you in case you do get a positive on a home test so you will have an official test for travel insurance claims.
I tend to err on the side of caution, but I would bring 3 home tests and 1 proctored test.
I am traveling soon on a RS tour and am taking 2 boxes of 2 tests each. When I was in France in April the tests were very easy to get at any pharmacy in Paris. Pharmacies are plentiful and you'd just go in and ask the Pharmacist behind the counter for a Covid test. Even if they are not real comfortable with speaking English they will understand this request. Be sure to "Bonjour" them first, lol.
Does your tour start in Paris?
Here is what one of my latest emails from RS Europe says regarding the testing time frame:
Pre-Tour COVID Test Required: Because we want to ensure the health and safety of your group — and provide a successful tour for you and each group member, we are requiring all tour members to complete a COVID test prior to joining their tour. Please bring a COVID self-test to take on the first day of your tour prior to the start of the welcome meeting. Take a photo of your test when the instructions indicate the results are ready, and show the photo and your CDC vaccine card to your guide prior to entering the meeting. If you do not have a camera please bring the test itself, showing the results, to the meeting. If you’ve had COVID between 14 and 90 days prior to the start of your tour, you’ll also need to bring a COVID recovery letter signed by your doctor, in case you continue to test positive.