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Leaving Friday for France

I was hoping that the departure 7/23 would happen, and it appears to be all systems go, however, now the reality sets in. Since the US requires a test on the way home, and vaccinated people are testing positive, there seems to be a real risk that one could get 'stuck' there.

Since the UK has recently recommended to tourists that they 'not come', I wonder if France may follow. Will businesses close?
Also, wondering about masks indoors, are they an 'always' or a 'sometimes' thing?

Looking for any 'word on the street' kind of intel you may have.

PS I never would have had any of these questions pre-Covid, I would just go and see what happens.

Posted by
1009 posts

As with most COVID related things, things are fluid. Do you have travel and health insurance for your trip? Do you have enough funds in case you are quarantined in a hotel if you test positive? Doesn’t hurt to be prudent and think ahead

Posted by
905 posts

I don't have intel, but I wanted to say - get on the plane, follow the rules, try not to worry, and most importantly, ENJOY YOUR TRIP! Can't wait to hear all about it!

Posted by
7526 posts

It's fine to come to France, but note that casas are rising due to the Delta variant.
Very few vaccinated people test positive, but if you did, you would just retest with a PCR. Don't leave your return test until the last minute.
Masks are always worn inside. At a cafe or restaurant, you take it off after you are seated. Unless an area is having a spike, most people just lower their masks or don't wear them outside. I tend to wear them more due to my age. Edit: our department has rising casas, so we are now required to wear masks outdoors.
No businesses are closing.
I'm in a major city in the south of France.

Posted by
6387 posts

wondering about masks indoors, are they an 'always' or a 'sometimes' thing?

Masks are still required indoors.

Unless you go into a place that requires a health pass, then it's possible that you can remove your mask. BUT -- the managers of the place or the local authorities can still require the mask even in these situations. And this just literally started today.

Posted by
4681 posts

Covid rates in France appear to be escalating in a similar manner to the U.K. a few weeks ago, doubling in a week and their vaccination rates is much lower.

I am due to travel to France in 5 weeks and are putting the chance of the trip happening at 50%.

Covid measures can change quickly, so ensure you have good insurance. The worst case scenario is that you test positive, retest and still show positive, so you would have to quarantine for 10-14 days then test again, delaying your flight home.

Posted by
1767 posts

Did I miss something. Looks to me like Juile is going?

Anyway reports are positive right now that you can get into places with your CDC card.

Hopefully you have insurance. I do and have a 4 step plan if I test positive.
1. Immediately get a PCR test
2. If #1 is positive, call my insurance company to alert them and get their guidance
3. Find a medical provider (see #2)
4. Find a hotel with room service (probably someplace more affordable out by airport) get there and stay there unless I need medical help.

Posted by
99 posts

Hi Carol - Do you mind sharing who your insurance is through? We have never purchased travel insurance before, but considering it.

We are scheduled to arrive in France Sept 1 and while I understand and appreciate the points being discussed (and am glad to read them! lots of good points made!) ... I am not all that hesitant to go! I may be overly optimistic, but plan to stay educated & and up on developments as they change so rapidly .. but from many of the posts in the forum it seems as long as you pack patience and are reasonable ... a wonderful time in France still awaits ...

Posted by
4681 posts

I don’t know what the procedure is in France, but if you test positive, you shouldn’t be staying in a hotel and exposing their staff to Covid.

Posted by
1767 posts

Seriously you are going to have to go somewhere and actually in most countries they have hotels you can go to. Unfortunately, I haven't seen anything like that for France but have for other places. Maybe one of our locals knows if they have designated hotels? But I agree you don't expose the staff so once you are in the hotel room that's it. No leaving, no cleaning etc. Room service left at door and returned to door.

They aren't going to just automatically admit you to a hospital because you are asymptomatic but have tested positive. So you are going to have to go somewhere... that's a basic fact. Got any other suggestions, I am open? I don't think Airbnb is a solution either since that would (a) mean finding someplace and (b) since they don't have any food service you would have to venture out for provisions periodically (I mean a French Fridge won't hold 14 days worth of frozen dinners for example)

Posted by
46 posts

Yes Carol, I would also like to know where your travel insurance is through. I have had bad experiences with Allianez and found them to be worthless but would like to look at other options.

Posted by
1767 posts

I believe this trip is TravelGuard.

Basically I go to insuremytrip.com and start shopping. I am not endorsing any plan because I haven't had to file a claim on travel insurance in over 20 years. Insuremytirp does allow you to filter for covid coverage and I do basically self -insure. So I claim the price of the trip is minimal. All I really want is medical.

Posted by
204 posts

I REALLY appreciate all your feedback.

I am still going as of now, but my aunt/travel companion this trip is the one who is having cold feet, as she has another trip planned for the day after we return from France. Her primary concern is getting stuck, not getting sick.
I do not have insurance, I have never been convinced travel insurance is worth the money. (Nothing against insurance, as in other areas I believe that you can't have too much insurance).

Posted by
2092 posts

It's not too late to purchase travel insurance today before you leave, and you really should, especially in the current times... Such a small expense compared to the cost of a trip overseas!
Or at the very least, double check what kind of insurance your credit cards (that you used for trip expenditures) might offer.

Posted by
4681 posts

Travel insurance isn’t worth the money until you need to make a claim … then it’s invaluable.

Posted by
10 posts

I am leaving for France in a week :) There might be hiccups, who knows. I have emailed all the museums, train company, all the tour guides that I have hired and I am feeling confident that I can have a nice trip, that being said I am prepared for bumps in the road during this trip. I have lumped the two places together that would not give me a solid yes on my CDC card acceptance (I will buy a take home Covid test that takes 15 minutes to process and upload results to my phone) and keep it in my purse and if my CDC card isn't accepted I will take the test on the spot. I have made contingency itinerary plans for activities that don't require admittance like Les Passages Couverts incase the rules of France change. I am hoping to have a marvelous first trip to France :) I hope that you do too!

Posted by
1767 posts

I admit that I’m kind of on the fence about travel insurance. However I personally think traveling in a pandemic without travel insurance might not be a wise move. Because if you do test positive then you’re going to be staying in that country for a couple of weeks and you may need medical attention and the way it works with your home insurance is you pay out-of-pocket and then they reimburse you. The one time I did have to use travel insurance, we were able to get the insurance company to call the hospital and make arrangements to pay them so we didn’t have to front the money.

Now I know people will tell you that healthcare and Europe is cheaper or free. We were in London and all I can say for the healthcare we got there was it’s free. Luckily I knew some people that worked for a private hospital in London and was able to get our companion transferred to the Private hospital where we actually got care. Because what we were told by NHS was because she was 65 years old so tit was accepted that her arm would not be usable because of her injury without surgery but at her advanced age they would not do surgery. they also saw no need to give me a release to let her fly home where she could get surgery because they wouldn’t do surgery in the United States either for someone of her age. (I’m not making that up. We transferred her to the private hospital, and we got the release she went home she had surgery she regained full use of her arm.)

So right now I figure you either need to have travel insurance or a good amount of available credit/cash. I travel to Mexico quite often and I often see on Tripadvisor and other places dealing with Mexico and places like that posts begging for people to go to some go fund me page because somebody was on vacation and got sick or got injured and now they need money.

Also, if anyone in your travel party is covered by traditional Medicare then you have no coverage outside the United States. Traditional Medicare will not reimburse you for any injuries illnesses etc. that occur outside the United States arch territories. So if you have traditional Medicare as your primary insurance and your supplement does not have a travel rider and you get sick or injured in France or any place else you will be paying all the bills.

Posted by
7526 posts

@Dawn, Packing US antigen tests to enter French venues isn't going to fly. You'll need the readily available French tests. That would be $150 down the drain. The US accepts them for flying back to the US, but why pay that much when tests are easy to find and take 15 minutes.

Posted by
46 posts

Bets, I was thinking of doing the same thing with the home tests and thought I saw where someone had a post about how well they worked but I do think they were using them for re entry. Are you saying the French will only allow tests bought in France?

Posted by
253 posts

the whole point of being tested is so you can get the health pass in France; a US self test doesn't link into the French system...

Posted by
204 posts

FYI-We CANCELLED.
Could not risk getting stuck in France due to positive test (even tho we are vaccinated).
Things were deteriorating and appear to be still.

Posted by
191 posts

Others have confirmed that indoor masks are universal. It's surprising it's such a controversial matter in the U.S.

We are moving soon and just got back from a trip across France for signing the papers on our "new" house, and both my wife and I agree that, if we were in the U.S. right now, we wouldn't spend the money to travel to France at this time. Too many restrictions, rising cases and the distinct possibility of further restrictions, less-than-pleasant visits to places that are open... all those factors add up to a decision of "not worth the time or money" if we still lived in the U.S.

Next year in France probably would be better, but if I lived in the States, I would spend my vacation money this year on a trip somewhere in the U.S. Sure, one can travel to France these days. Sure, some places are open. But the experience is not there, in my view.