Getting Ready For France!

Our house in the foreground set in a small pedestrianised close.

We are getting ready to set off on our next trip – a return to the Marriott Ile de France, to the ESE of Paris. We spent 5 weeks there last year and had such a fantastic time that we decided to return this year for another 2 weeks, using some of our timeshare allocation.

Covid regulations have changed in a year so there are some changes to be expected, but nothing too drastic. Last summer, France had some covid rules in place – social distancing, mask wearing…. but there were no testing regulations in place with the UK. No traffic light system affected our travel. This year, France has introduced a covid passport system and of course the UK has re-entry requirements. It’s not too bad. For the fully vaccinated, like us, we just have to be able to show our vaccination status to enter France and to visit restaurants and other public spaces. We have our NHS passport and we have also downloaded the French app and uploaded our vaccination certificates into that. It was simple enough. There have been some instances where restaurants have been unable to read the NHS one for some reason, so we avoid that scenario.

France is “amber” for UK travel purposes so if that remains the case, we will need to take a PCR test (can be lateral flow) before we return to the UK and then another test on or before Day 2 of returning to the UK. We cannot use an NHS lateral flow test for the purpose but many French pharmacies offer a walk in service with the price capped at 29 euro. And then we can do a home test for the Day 2 once back in the UK.

The biggest change is that now the UK is classed as a “third country” we will not be able to take a starter pack of food and drink with us like we did last year. No meat, vegetable or dairy products can be brought in. I’m sure we’ve all read about the truck driver and his ham sandwich-gate!!!! Oh well…… Not the end of the world. We quite liked taking a cooler of frozen meat to France with us because their meat is much more expensive than ours. That’s about the only thing…. We will still take a good supply of our Nespresso capsules as they are allowed as are tea bags. So no need to drink their anaemic tea.

Planning some great days out and an overnight to the Pays de Loire for our anniversary, to a very special (to us) hotel. Read along from Sunday, if you are interested in our ramblings!!!