Paris, Covid testing and more

Old Jul 30th, 2021, 04:45 AM
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Paris, Covid testing and more

I returned from Paris yesterday. Regarding getting a required covid test within 3 days of returning to the US, it couldn't have been easier. Thanks to prior advice from Pepper Von Snoot (Thin), my sister and I walked into a pharmacy in the 7th arrondissement and asked for the antigen test. We filled out a quick form online prior to the appointment registering us for the test. The form is manageable even with a little knowledge of French (name, date of birth, hotel address, email, etc). The only question asked was if we were in the health care system, which we are not, so we paid the 29 euro fee at the pharmacy. We received a receipt, walked outside to a tent where the test was administered (yes, it's the up the nose q-tip). Within a half hour, the results were emailed to us and we uploaded it to our United app.

There are tents all over Paris which provide the same services. We noticed lines outside of pharmacies in busier neighborhoods. However, in our area it took all of five minutes. The PCR test is more expensive and unnecessary, so ask for the "test antigenique".

We didn't bother asking the pharmacy to enter our CDC covid vaccination document into the French Health Pass app because we were returning to New Jersey before 8/1 when the new mandates take place. We always walked around carrying our CDC card just in case we were asked for proof of vaccination. As a side note, after 15 years of visiting Paris we finally decided to go up the Eiffel Tower. In the past, we couldn't be bothered with the long lines and securing a ticket beforehand which is a gamble due to unpredictable weather. This time around, we walked to the Eiffel Tower before sunset and there were no lines whatsoever. We walked up to the booth, they asked to see our CDC vaccination card, we purchased the tickets and on the elevator within 5 minutes. We went to the top and it was spectacular watching the sunset followed by the lights illuminating Paris.

Having visited Paris in the past during the month of July, it was significantly less crowded this time for obvious reasons. We didn't need reservations for restaurants. Mask wearing is mandatory on public transportation, grocery stores, shopping, etc. Outdoors, mask wearing isn't generally required although there was a mixture of people masked/unmasked. The newly reopened Samaritaine was beautiful. Not much purchasing happening there, but lots of visitors taking pictures (decor and displays were magnificent). Hermes was empty but department stores like BHV and Le Bon Marche were busier. Perfect getaway trip!

~Roberta
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Old Jul 30th, 2021, 06:28 AM
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I do not own a mobile device, and my wife's proficiency with mobile devices is about a C+. Do you know if we can we get the antigen test "proof", and the French Health Pass in paper form?

Stu Dudley
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Old Jul 30th, 2021, 06:47 AM
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Yes, everything exists in paper form. Plenty of (older) Europeans do not use mobile phones;
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Old Jul 30th, 2021, 07:46 AM
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Since the results are emailed to you, will you have access to a computer and printer if staying at a hotel? Then, you will be able to print it and show it at the airport at check-in? Not sure about the health pass since we did not try to get one. I've read mixed experiences with people who had luck getting one while others were turned away. The person at the Eiffel Tower ticket booth looked at our CDC card and off we went.
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Old Aug 21st, 2021, 07:34 AM
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Thanks so much for sharing this information. We are looking at travel to Paris from the US in October and this is one thing that has me holding off booking.
Looks like we're going to 'push the button' on booking air & accommodations. Thanks again.
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Old Aug 21st, 2021, 08:25 AM
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I am buying the CDC approved Abbott BinaxNOW test and taking it with me.
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Old Aug 21st, 2021, 09:59 AM
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RobertaL, thank you so much for this helpful information. We have decided to go ahead with our November plans for Paris.
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Old Aug 21st, 2021, 10:04 AM
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And may I ask where you got your Covid test and whether you had an appointment for the test or just showed up? We also will be staying in the 7th.
Thank you.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2021, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by JMK38 View Post
And may I ask where you got your Covid test and whether you had an appointment for the test or just showed up? We also will be staying in the 7th.
Thank you.
jmk, we went to the pharmacy on the corner of avenue Bosquet and rue St. Dominique. The morning we planned to take the test, we registered online on website: parisienne.francetest.fr. Questions were basic (name, dob, email where test results will be sent, etc). For address, we typed in our hotel address. When asked for health social number, we checked we didnít have one. Remember, month and day of dob are reversed in France. Once complete, you will get confirmation you are registered which we screen shot. No appt date/time needed.

We then walked to pharmacy, asked for Antigen test. They looked at our confirmation on our phones and our passports. We paid 29 euros and took covid test outside under a tent. Results were emailed under an hour. Very easy process!

~Roberta
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Old Aug 22nd, 2021, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by RobertaL View Post
Remember, month and day of dob are reversed in France.
It might be more accurate to say that dates are reversed in the United States compared to just about all of the rest of the world.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2021, 11:32 AM
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Thanks so much - this is so helpful. Hopefully, our experience will be as smooth as yours!
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