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Have You Decided to Go or Not to Go to France in Coming Days & Weeks???

To those of you who have been planning to visit France in coming days and weeks (say, this month or in January). . . .

Do you still plan to go despite the rise of the COVID omicron variant?

Or have you cancelled your trip?

Or have you decided to merely reschedule your trip?

I myself have had plans for a long time to go to France at the middle of this month, but now I don't know what to do! Am curious to see what others are thinking and doing about this issue in regard to their own trips.

Sincerely,

Shane

Posted by
7691 posts

You’ll see threads pretty high up here on the French page where at least two people do exactly that and explain their reasoning.

Posted by
26 posts

Delta didn't keep us from Berlin in August or Paris for Thanksgiving. It was and still is worth the risk. As long as the borders are open and no one requires an arrival quarantine, we'll be in Nice on Christmas Eve. Life's too short to cancel any more trips.

Posted by
281 posts

I’m headed to Strasbourg, Dijon and Paris in a few days. I’ve been in Germany for a week where the numbers are high. People are respectful and careful - always wearing a mask (preferably FFP2). I needed a negative Covid test to board a river cruise tomorrow. Cost 19 Euro and I’ll need one to enter France. Happy to do it. Happy to wear a mask. Happy to be here.

Posted by
1127 posts

Wash your hands, wear your mask, and practice good judgement. You can just as easily get sick here in the US doing a mundaine routine as you can visiting the greatness of France. Just have a backup idea in mind in case you test positive before you go home.

Posted by
115 posts

We have a Paris trip planned end of January and at this time, have no plans to cancel. We are triple-vaxxed and (so far) what seems to be the case is that the rise in cases is largely among those who are unvaccinated. I do not think I am bullet proof LOL, but if this continues to be the case, I see no reason to change plans.

Posted by
5694 posts

It’s early days yet, but over half the Omicron variant cases in the U.K. are double vaccinated people.

I felt safer in the Canary Islands last month than in the U.K., but it was a beach holiday and we rent a cottage, hire a car and don’t eat out much other than sitting outside. I wouldn’t do a city break in a hotel or use public transport at present.

Precautions aside, and I am really impressed with how France has handled COVID tracking... we are supposed to leave on the 16th and are right on the edge of cancelling. My husbands art is being displayed on a town in Italy and we were traveling to see that and also visit family France who will accompany us to the Italy event, BUT we can't manage a Plan B. There are 5 of us traveling and my 3 kids are 13 and younger and of course in school...and my husbands job needs him back here in January so we can't be flexible about returning. We are all vaxxed, boosted, even the 10 year olds but there are too many buts right now...

Posted by
1 posts

We also are planning on going in just a couple weeks. Although today’s announcement (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/covid-4/coronavirus-france) from the CDC certainly gives me pause, right now we’re cautiously continuing with our plans. After postponing the trip twice now, the “wait until things get better” approach seems irrelevant… because who’s to say it’ll be better a month or even a year from now. We’ve taken all the precautions (vaxxed, boostered, med grade masks, etc.) and are prepared to do all the testing and jump through all the hoops. It will be worth it!

Posted by
25 posts

Shane,
We are going in 11 days. We are have our boosters. I have our rapid PCR tests scheduled. I just received my International DL today at the local AAA. We look at the rates of vaccination there and it is better than our area. At this point, we are going to move forward and live our lives to the best and safest we can. The wife and I have postponed this trip 3 times now and we will soon be empty nesters. It is now or never for our family of 5. I noticed the recent Level 4 warning for France. We are not deterred by this. I hope you can make a decision that you are comfortable with. Best wishes.

Posted by
115 posts

.....over half the Omicron variant cases in the U.K. are double vaccinated people<<.

I hadn't heard that. Interesting. I wonder if those cases are those who were vaccinated early on and had not yet gotten the third shot. It will be interesting to see how this progresses. I'll certainly be paying attention! As I am not leaving till end of January, I have a little more time to see how it develops.

Posted by
108 posts

We are heading out the 15th!! As long as they let us in, plans aren’t changing!

Posted by
4 posts

We are leaving on Tuesday come hell or high water! My son and daughter in law live in France and if we cancel it could be a year before we see them in person again...we both work and it would be very difficult to reschedule the time off. We are both fully vaccinated and boosted and wear our masks in risky situations. And honestly, the vaccination rate is higher in France than in our state, so....

The hardest part is the chance that things may close down while we're there. We were in France in 2019 when everything was initially shutting down and it was a bummer. We didn't regret going because we were thankful to be with our son when the world was going crazy. I would have been out of my mind with worry had we not seen him in person during all that.

The news this morning has me thinking the Omicron is more transmissible, but not more deadly, so I'm hoping as long as the hospitals remain functional, the lockdowns will not be triggered....fingers crossed!

Posted by
7691 posts

We were in France in 2019 when everything was initially shutting down

I think you are confusing the December 2019 train strikes with the pandemic. France didn’t shut anything for the pandemic until Saturday, March 14, 2020, when the prime minister came on TV and announced that all restaurants would have to close at midnight. (The President had previously appeared on tv the Thursday prior and announced that a lockdown would start on Monday March 16).

Posted by
22 posts

Yeah, I'm leaning heavily now toward going! I've already put off this vacation for over a year and a half, it's paid for (except for food), and as I may have said, I'm not concerned much about COVID (we're all vacinated, and I've had three doses), just the bureaucracy of getting tested before returning to the U.S.

I don't know if someone else mentioned this, but here's a helpful site for finding pharmacies in Paris that are open late or even 24/7:

https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/themed-guides/paris-by-night/practical-guide/open-very-late-or-all-night-in-paris/night-pharmacy

Shane

Posted by
2054 posts

the bureaucracy of getting tested before returning to the U.S.

That is only a matter of paying 25€ for the test which is offered everywhere in Paris; at almost any pharmacy, even at many street corners. Look for the blue tents with the word dépistage.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks for correcting me Kim - haha! Time has lost all meaning! Yes, I meant to say during COVID lockdowns in 2020...

Posted by
6720 posts

Nothing easier than getting tested before the return to the US -- we did it in November. 25 Euro and there are test sites with no wait at all all over Paris -- it is much harder getting the tests in the US at a reasonable price.

We are planning to go in April but I have put off buying the tickets for a month or so to see how this plays out. Triple vaxxed and traveling with a vaxxed 12 year old. If we get sick; we get sick and at least we are in Paris. If I thought we had a good chance of getting ICU sick, I would cancel.

Posted by
1002 posts

I'm in France. Have been 4 nights in Paris, tonight is 4th night in Colmar. Heading to Lyon tomorrow then Chamonix. Masks are mandatory everywhere, pass sanitaire is checked every restaurant and cafe. There is not much distancing though, if that freaks you out. Subways and Christmas markets are crowded but, again, everyone wears masks. Security reminds about masks and there are announcements continuously. I have been careful and we have had a very good time. Hasn't hindered it at all really. I don't know that I'd want to be here in summer because masks would be tough, but right now it's not bad at all.

Posted by
849 posts

I just cancelled a 10 day trip to Paris, leaving December 28. Vaxxed and boosted, and not particularly fearful, but really don't want to get there and have more restrictions kick in on museums and restaurants. Had a trip to German Christmas markets and Salzburg planned, leaving Nov 24, and less than a week before, Bavarian markets cancelled and Salzburg went into lockdown. I quickly rearranged that trip and went to Italy instead, but too much is going on in December to have to make all new plans if Paris gets sticky. Decided to defer for a few months rather than chancing a diminished experience.

Posted by
1910 posts

Just left Paris yesterday, now in Prague. It is true that everything about the “getting to the destination” takes longer and is more of a headache. But once there (here, Paris, Croatia in September, or Greece in July), it is almost normal travel except for paperwork at airports. And masks. I am triple vaccinated with no underlying conditions and decided I don’t want to see any more of my travel years disappear up in smoke, if tourism is open and tourists are welcome.

Posted by
492 posts

I canceled the Paris portion of an upcoming trip, only because Paris is what would have made it a multi-country trip, with all of the additional testing hurdles and hassle that would have involved. Had the trip been about Paris alone (or Paris and other parts of France alone), I would not have canceled it and would still be planning on forging ahead for a NYE departure.

Really, the additional testing it would have required was the only reason. Since we fly in to and spend some time in the UK and Paris would have fallen in the middle of our trip (with a return to the UK after), it would have meant additional pre-departure tests and an additional UK Day 2 PCR test and isolation period. If it was a France-only trip, we would have been more than ok with one round of France's testing/health pass requirements (and return to the US, of course). But c'est la vie!

Perhaps Paris will be in the cards later in 2022, or even 2023!

Posted by
12 posts

We are leaving for Paris on Dec. 19 for two weeks. Six persons and have no plans to cancel. Thanks for the post. The replies have great info as we finalize our trip.

Posted by
8 posts

We have a trip planned for end of January/beginning of February. We'll be going from Seattle - Boston and staying a few nights, then Boston to Paris with 4 nights in Paris, then Paris to London with 6 nights in London, then to NYC for 3 nights and back to Seattle. Short of a lockdown in any of those places we have absolutely no intention of canceling/postponing. Whatever "minor" inconveniences that come with it all, we'll deal with.

That said, a few questions for anyone that might be able and answer:

We have a layover at Heathrow on the Boston - Paris trip...from what I have read, it doesn't sound like we'll need to do anything special for transiting/changing planes there...just get off plane and go to new terminal, get on new plane...is that accurate?

Any concerns with getting the Chunnel train from Paris to London we should be aware of?

Anything else we should be concerned with, paying attention to?

Best to all for the holidays, safe travels and thanks in advance for anyone that can assist with the questions.

Oh...and Shane...GO ON THE TRIP!

Tony

Posted by
22 posts

@walborna1970

Thanks, Tony. My group of four is definitely going. My only concern is getting out of France at the end of the trip, as the last 24 hours of our visit mainly falls on Christmas Day, with the plan leaving for the U.S. early on the 26th. The problem being, to find a pharmacy open on Christmas Day so we can get tested in that 24-hour window in order to get on the plane! Fortunately, I have found a pharmacy in Paris that will be open all-day on Christmas. (I see there are a number of 24/7 pharmacies in Paris, as one would expect in a major city.)

Actually, I just found three pharmacies open on Christmas Day that provide rapid COVID testing, so that's all I needed to know.

Posted by
115 posts

@walborna1970 - while you may get a reply or so here, might be a good idea to post your questions in a new thread :-). Sounds like a great trip. I did London-to-Paris on the chunnel once but it was prepandemic so I can't answer specifics now :-). PS - I am also planning to be in Paris end of January/early February!

Posted by
25 posts

Shane,
Check with your hotel. I emailed them and they told me the closest pharmacy. I also emailed several pharmacies close by the hotel and they all responded. One pharmacy does not do testing but told me where the next closest pharmacy that does testing is. We have to be tested 12/31.

Posted by
1124 posts

Hi Shane,

I went to France in Sept for 3 weeks, after coming down with a breakthrough case exactly three weeks prior to departure. I have some thoughts for you--

I had plans A, B and C worked out in case I or my partner contracted covid over there. I had the blessing of my physician. I had extra meds, good insurance (including coverage purchased that covered Covid and a support person). I had the ability to have my home and pet covered here, and as I currently am not working, did not have to worry about a job to come home to.

Having said that, the 'mild' case of covid I had (after double vax with Moderna, and my second dose was end of March so well within the 6 month period still) was NOT that mild for a bit. It was very different than the 'flu' or a cold. Instead of one peak day and then recovery, it plateaued on about the third day and stayed there. Then it got better, then it got worse again. It took a full 11 days before I felt ready to leave the house, regardless of the CDC rec to self isolate for 10. I did attempt a half mile and a mile walk twice, on very nice days in the three week period before I left for France, and felt like I had run a marathon. (For reference, I AM a runner, I've been running steadily for 34 years and I also backpack 600-800 miles a year and sleep outside on those trips about 72 nights a year on average, plus I've been lifting weights for over 10 years. As a 51 year old female, I'm in pretty dang good shape.) I lost my sense of smell and taste on day 5 and it was barely returning when I left for France.

What that means, is, I spent two full days in bed (literally all day and into night) feeling awful. I could have done it in a hotel, but people really need to think about whether they can or not. I was sick. I felt sick. I watched TV most of the day on the couch, utterly exhausted. I drank an extraordinary amount of liquid. I alternated tylenol and ibuprofen round the clock. I had to take Flonase for my sinuses. I had a terrible cough for about a week.

Things to think about: will your hotel or airbnb have some form of media that you can watch? Will your data plan allow you to stream on your phone or laptop if not? What will you (or your support person) do to occupy yourself if this is not the case? I don't even think I would have had the energy to read honestly ( I didn't read at all, and I usually read every day). Can your support person and/or kids stay in a hotel for that long? If they are with you, they will need to continually test positive to go out, otherwise they risk everyone in France they come into contact with. My partner would have been ok staying with me inside. Can the facility you're staying at handle this, as in: is your location good for deliveries, etc? These are things that sound like they won't be an issue but they might be.

I think I could have handled it over there ok. But: it was worse than I expected it to be, and I did indeed feel completely wiped out in a way that I've never felt before except for a major health crisis. Everyone reacts differently of course-- but therein lies the rub. I just always try to imagine the worst case scenario, and now I have a better basis for this at least.

I'm sooooo glad we went, honestly. But for me, it was almost easier as I knew I would not get it again quite that soon. I am still planning on going to Greece in May of 2022, but that is barring anything getting worse of course.

Just a few things for you to really consider before you go. Bonne chance!

Posted by
21287 posts

Aimee, I am so sorry you were that ill with COVID. I really appreciate your taking the time to describe your experience. It's important that we all understand how rough it can get even if we don't end up in the hospital. It's really easy to make the leap from "most people who get significantly ill have underlying conditions and/or are very old" (which seems to be true) to "I'm healthy so if I get COVID it definitely won't be worse than a bad cold" (which clearly isn't true). What you went through would certainly have been more miserable if you'd been away from home.

Posted by
22 posts

I went! And it was awesome! Yes, dealing with the bureucracy was often nerve-wrentching, but everything fell into place nicely and we had a great time in Paris and Provence. Just got back home yesterday (having been in France from December 18 to 26) -- and don't want to be here! I want to be back in France!

Posted by
1118 posts

Great. I felt and feel the same way upon my return on 8 December.