Success: Cov-19 tests for return to France

I had to return to the UK for reasons of work and am booked to return to France on Monday 28 December with DFDS ferries Newhaven-Dieppe.

In order to travel, I have to be able to show a negative C-19 test result using either the PCR test or an approved antigen test. There is a government website listing the approved antigen tests.

However, none of the UK private test centres list the brand of test they use. I have emailed 12 different companies and received out-of-office replies from 8 of them so far.

Assuming I could find a private test centre that offers an approved brand of test, many send out a self-test kit - but the French have declared that self administered tests will not be accepted.

The NHS Covid test page says that their test is not appropriate for international travel so that’s out.

I’ve spoken to DFDS and Newhaven Port who both shrugged and said ‘check with Border Force’. I’ve emailed and phoned UK and France Border Forces with “don’t know” and no reply as the respective answers.

A bit of a long shot, but does anyone know where I could get an appropriate Covid 19 test that will allow me to enter France on 28th December? Ideally the test centre would be in the South East of the uk, between Cambridge and Newhaven.

Oh - I nearly forgot - Happy Christmas :snowman_with_snow::evergreen_tree::snowman_with_snow:

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Pop down to Dover in a lorry where the French have set up a testing centre for lorry drivers, staffed by french healthcare workers… (which is true, but may not accept passing trade!).

I have a feeling that the NHS say their tests are not suitable for international travel because they are free…so don’t want travellers taking up slots. Could you get a PCR test on Saturday and hope result ps back in time? Alternatively Boots at Gatwick airport does antibody tests, so would hope they would know which countries accept their tests.

But loads of travel clinics in London that test (at a price of course). If they are not answering emails can you phone them?

Thanks, Jane.
It looks as if the PCR tests at Dover are only available to truckers in the lorry parks.

The London places I’ve spoken to can either offer self-test kits or can’t conduct a test and deliver a result in the time available.

You have to pre-book the Boots test but you can only do that once you’ve uploaded all your details including passport number and a scan of your passport. I’ve emailed them separately to see if they can guarantee their test will be accepted by France before I give them my identity information! (I did phone and they asked me to email so my “query can be dealt with by the right person”)

Hey ho…

(edit to add…)
I completed the ID submission to Boots but you have to pay £120 before they’ll grant you access to the booking system to see if they have the capacity to actually conduct the test. I’ll wait to see if I get a response to my email.

Hope you like reading Kafka! Good luck.

(Presuming you have a british accent, you could always try booking a free NHS test locally…you’ll probably need to provide an address, but maybe worth a try? )

It all is rather Kafka-esque…
I’d thought of the NHS route but I can’t find anyone to confirm that the test result would be accepted…

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A friend of mine returned last night (Newhaven/dieppe 22.00 crossing), he got a PCR test done privately, but the "authorities " needed a paper/hard copy of the negative result. For info, the crossing had been booked for a couple of weeks, but he was lucky to get boarded - initially told boat was full and there maybe space in the morning, but they managed to squeeze him in - last car to board. No problems with curfew checks this side.

I wonder where he got the PCR test?
And thanks for the update re. the curfew :+1:t3:

I don’t think it matters, what was important was getting the results same day (and getting a hard copy).

If you are brandishing a piece of paper that says Covid and negative will a customs officer really check the small print of 20 or more antibody tests? And any old PCR test will be accepted.

Exactly. And I can’t find anyone who can do that for me.

Look like you better get busy on Saturday

Thanks Jane,

I’d already tried them They said they couldn’t help until next week when they could do a test on Monday with the results guaranteed to be delivered before OR after I was due to leave the UK. And all for a paltry £400…

On reflection, I think I’ll just turn up with my hamster’s birth certificate stapled to a bit of paper with “COVID19 TEST NEGATIVE” written in crayon. That’ll probably work…

By the way, the underlying irony in this is that I was only in the UK to produce a video for a Major International Client concerning the likely difficulties of providing healthcare services from the UK into the EU after Brexit.

Even though the video is now delivered, it’s already substantially out of date. They have asked me to return in January for a re-shoot/re-edit.

Try the NHS route…

Good luck Brian. It’s a blood mess.

Thanks John - and Happy Christmas to all!

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Bon Courage Brian

Come 1st Jan as UK is third something Country I think you will have to also convince French border authorities you are a bona fide permanent resident

You should have a slip of paper that attests to you having applied for a CdS which has been provided to allow easy crossing of borders back i to France. It is on the bottom of the email that confirms you have applied.

Anyway, I think OP is returning on 28th…

TCN = third country national.

I do indeed have that…so good reason for cracking on with an application. Amazed how quick and simple compared I understand to Europeans applying for settled status in the UK.