Travelling in the transition period from the COVID19 lockdown to new normal

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Yesterday, I traveled from Denmark to Sweden by boat and spend some time in Helsingborg. In Helsingborg, I only saw one person wearing a mask, an Asian of some description. Otherwise, everything was pretty normal except for some seats on the ferry taped as to discourage people from using them and in order to allow more social distancing. Today I learned that Denmark will follow the examples of other countries and require the obligatory wearing of masks on public transportation beginning August 22, 2020. This is based on an alleged increased occurrence of Covid19, with more than 100 new cases detected in one day. On the Danish side, coming off the ferry and at the entrance into Denmark there were a few police cars and a couple of soldiers to check the people coming in. Not that they were very busy, but they were there. The increased control and the assignment of the military is a new procedure that began with Covid19. On the Swedish side, there was not much police, but I was stopped by customs who asked me about my purpose for coming to Sweden, and my luggage was checked thoroughly. Everything was fine, but still, this is the first time this has happened out of four visits to Helsingborg.
 

Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Some signs of humanity while travelling? On my return flight to Schiphol the air crew reiterated that we should all wear a face mask, but added that this was unfortunate. They also expressed their appreciation for flying with them. That was new, because they hadn't said anything like that on my outward flight. When I mentioned to the air hostess that I was feeling a bit nauseous because of my wearing a mask :-D she told me to take my time drinking my coffee and water, and I thought that was pretty decent of her. She also checked in with me later and asked me how I was feeling.

The same airline had some trouble with a passenger on a flight to Spain who didn't want to wear a mask and was arrested when he landed in Ibiza, so perhaps they wanted to placate us, but still I thought it was interesting.
 

Mari

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Slovenia, UK and Germany has put Croatia on red list 4 days ago.
That means that all tourists coming from Croatia must take COVID tests and go to self quarantine for 2 weeks.

This created chaos this weekend on Austrian borders.
Tourists (mainly German and Dutch) were stuck in the border traffic jams for up to 15h!!!!
People, also mainly families were left on the heat on the motorway without food or even water.


From Croatian press:


AUSTRIA SUDDENLY STRICTED MEASURES, CROATS STUCK IN CHAOS AT THE BORDER:
‘Unprecedented harassment, we have neither food nor water…’

"People are waiting for 14 hours to cross the Slovenian border and pass through the Karavanke tunnel," the man said.

Passengers returning from vacation stood on Sunday night at the Slovenian-Austrian border for more than 12 hours after the government in Vienna introduced stricter controls on transit passengers to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the dpa reported on Sunday.

The new rules were imposed on Saturday due to deteriorating epidemiological figures in Croatia, the German agency explains.

All passengers who were in Croatia and wanted to pass through Austria had to register at the border with health services.


There was chaos at the crossing
People returning were caught unprepared, so chaos ensued at the Karavanke crossing.

A German traveler told dpa that he tried to find information on the Internet about the new rules before heading home from Croatia.
"We haven't seen it anywhere," he said of the new transit rules.

He pointed out that he spent 14 hours in a traffic jam when entering Austria.

Local Austrian police said she was overwhelmed by calls from angry passengers during the night.

Austrian officials have been allowing foreign vehicles in transit since Sunday morning, reducing the wait to six hours.


Many Croats are stuck at the border, and the Austrian ORF states that they wait until 1 pm to cross the border in cars without food and water.
Everything, they explain, was caused by the new regulation related to the covid-19, according to which every car entering Austria must be inspected. Holiday returnees from Croatia who only transit through Austria must undertake to continue to the countries to which they return without stopping. The Red Cross set out to supply water to people in cars.


A reader who is at the border told Index.hr that they don't even have water.
"Unprecedented harassment on the Austrian border. People are waiting for 2 pm to cross the Slovenian border and pass through the Karavanke tunnel. They have no water or food. They made a sudden decision yesterday that all passengers, and those just passing by, must fill out forms and have their temperatures measured. And then people are warned that there are no stops for fuel, toilets and sleeping through Austria. And how much fuel do you use in a car stop and how to get water and food? The Red Cross started sharing a glass of water after 12 hours! Scandal by Austria. What is our policy doing about that? ”Said the man at the border.


One story of the person who lived trough this caos:

Drama of Croats on the Austrian border:
'We wait for 10 hours with three children, people are running out of food'

Readers stuck at the Slovenian-Austrian border crossing say the situation is catastrophic. People are nervous, children are crying and screaming, and in ten hours they have not moved a kilometer. Some sleep on the road.


We´ve left Zagreb at noon, around 14h we were already at the entrance to the Karavanke tunnel, not far from the Slovenian-Austrian border, since then we have only managed to pass the tunnel because in an hour they let maybe 20 cars through the tunnel, he says us on Saturday just before midnight Marko R., who together with his wife and three small children is currently experiencing real agony.

This is a consequence of the new decision of the Austrians, made practically overnight, to control every car that enters the country, including people in transit, such as holiday returnees from Croatia, who must commit to continue to countries where they return without stopping so that they will fill out the application. The result is a total collapse.

People returning were caught unprepared, so chaos ensued at the Karavanke crossing.

Austrian officials have been allowing foreign vehicles in transit since Sunday morning, reducing the wait to six hours.

And people waited up to 14h!


Children are crying, people are running out of food
- We stand here for 10 hours with three small children. We are slowly running out of food and my children have fallen asleep hungry. Nobody cares, no one has addressed us so far - said Marko's annoyed wife in a video she sent us on Saturday just before midnight.

Desperate readers stuck at the Jesenice-Karavanke border crossing say the situation has escalated at the moment.

People are urinating along the highway, running out of food and water, and the crying of children is echoing more and more.


- Our biggest problem is that we are not allowed to stop anywhere in Austria, we have been on the road for more than 12 hours now, and who knows when we will cross the border ... Even when we cross it, we have at least seven hours to drive home. Well, it's impossible to endure not to stop somewhere and get some sleep - Marko complained to us.

Although he says it was interesting to them at first because people were playing music and joking, but as time went on they all realized that ‘the devil took the joke’.

At one point, the drivers started trumpeting collectively, but that didn't work either.

- We have been traveling this route for years and we have never experienced something like this. We also asked the Slovenian police what it was about and why they were not letting us go, and they told us that the Austrians were simply carrying out their stubbornness because of the whole situation around the crown. Who will know more, we are outraged. This is no longer normal, we just want to come home - says Marko.


As from yesterdays news, now waiting time is 6h!!!
Going through Austria usually takes 3h, now one must count with 6h more.....
 

PERLOU

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
BEAU, si le masque est en tissu, il est réutilisable avec un lavage à 60 ° quelques fois seulement ...
Beaucoup de personnes n'en tiennent pas compte et s'en serve plusieurs jours de suite...
Le masque acheté en pharmacie en papier est jetable et en principe utilisé pendant 4h ...
C'est pourquoi en France, on retrouve des quantités de masques en papier jeté n'importe où sauf dans les poubelles...
De plus, les gens reconnaissent qu'ils utilisent ce genre de masques plusieurs jours de suite sans le renouveler...
Ce qui montre bien que les masques ne servent à rien...

BEAU, if the mask is made of fabric, it is reusable with a wash at 60 ° only a few times, it must be washed every day ...
Many people do not take this into account and use it several days in a row ...
The paper mask bought in pharmacies is disposable and in principle used for 4 hours ...
That's why, in France, we find quantities of paper masks thrown anywhere except in the garbage ...
Moreover, people recognize that they use this kind of masks several days in a row without renewing them ...
This shows that masks are useless ...

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
 

Mari

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Hi,

Could someone who is German speaking please help me whit this one;

My understanding is; for all who return to Germany from risk countries, they must:
- fill in the on-line "entry" form and
- stay in 10 days quarantine.

Quarantine can be ended in 5 days if you take the test and it is negative.

I couldn´t find (it´s still unclear to me) if you also have to take the test after this 10 days of mandatory self-quarantine or after 10 days self-quarantine and no symptoms you are free.

Added:
Also I couldn´t find if members of the family have to go to self-quarantine if one person comes back from the trip.

Thank you!
 

Mililea

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Hi,

Could someone who is German speaking please help me whit this one;

My understanding is; for all who return to Germany from risk countries, they must:
- fill in the on-line "entry" form and
- stay in 10 days quarantine.

Quarantine can be ended in 5 days if you take the test and it is negative.

I couldn´t find (it´s still unclear to me) if you also have to take the test after this 10 days of mandatory self-quarantine or after 10 days self-quarantine and no symptoms you are free.

Added:
Also I couldn´t find if members of the family have to go to self-quarantine if one person comes back from the trip.

Thank you!
Hi Mari, I Also understand that only the person who enters has to Go into quarantine. No Other Person. After 5 days, a test is allowed and, in the negative case, is free again. That's really all very illogical what they think of... but what do I expect from remote-controlled puppets?
 

Mari

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Hi Mari, I Also understand that only the person who enters has to Go into quarantine. No Other Person. After 5 days, a test is allowed and, in the negative case, is free again. That's really all very illogical what they think of... but what do I expect from remote-controlled puppets?
Thank you! :flowers:

Yeah, totally crazy and they are changing this every week..... :nuts:
A week ago you could bring negative test and avoid this quarantine all together.

And since German language is not my mother language and not even my 1st foreign language, I´m always worried if I missed some information.....
 

Nachtweide

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Hallo Mari
This is how I understood it: Travelers from a risk area must register digitally before entering the country. Then they must enter a 10-day quarantine. After 5 days they can take a COVID test, which does not affect the duration of the quarantine. So a test after 5 days is actually nonsense, because it does not shorten the quarantine period of 10 days. If you then have symptoms after 10 days, you have to inform the public health department and do a new test. Then the quarantine will be extended. As I understand it, the quarantine period is in any case 10 days for all people entering the country. Even the Germans themselves. Exceptions are short stays for commuters, transients and family visits between 24 and 72 hours. 🙈
 

Mari

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Thank you Nachtweide! :flowers:

So a test after 5 days is actually nonsense, because it does not shorten the quarantine period of 10 days.
See! I missed that one! I thought that if you take the test after 5 days and is negative - you can avoid another 5 days of quarantine.

I think it´s the best that my man simply stays home for 10 days and be done with it; no tests and stuff....
Because I´m afraid that if he takes this test, it just might turn out positive and then we all will have to go to be tested and in quarantine!
And I don´t want to put my kids trough this.....

We are living in a very small neighborhood where everybody knows his neighbor and I´m afraid that if he don´t go to quarantine that someone might report him - and fines are BIG!
 

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Today, I checked prices for a ticket to a destination within Europe. I used a service that claimed to give the prices from different agencies but wondered what the difference would be if I searched on the homepage of the airline directly. It turned out the airline was about 20 % cheaper and that included 23 kg of luggage. So if you think about flying, perhaps you can save money in a similar way.

The unusual situation may be caused by the Covid panic that scares people away from flying while the airlines still need customers and the agencies are short of commission fees.
 

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Recent travel between Denmark and Switzerland taught me that testing for Covid is something one really has to factor into one's time and budget. In Denmark, I had to do a PCR test in order to be considered ready to fly. It had to be no older than 72 hours before departure. At the check-in at the airport, I had to first show the negative PCR test result, and then the ticket. It was enough to have the test result on the phone.

While in Switzerland, I considered going to France but learned that a required PCR test would cost close to 200 CHF (four times the bus ticket I had looked at) and worse the testing facility had eight days of waiting time. I opted to return to Denmark and for that only had to do a rapid antigen test, which cost 80 CHF at the Zürich airport. At the airport of arrival, I had to do another rapid antigen test, which delayed our exit by an hour. After the testing, we could begin our long walk from the new spacious testing area to pick up the luggage, that had been unloaded and left standing on the silent nonmoving conveyer belt.

The airports in Zürich and Copenhagen are very empty, the scheduled planes leaving and departing are few, long rows of check-in counters and security check stations are closed. When departing from Zürich, we spoke to an employee at the check-in counter and mentioned the emptiness. She revealed it was her first evening at work since one year; prior to that, she had worked at the airport for 20 years. She added that so much has changed in the procedures, that it is like having to learn it all over again. At the gate, some of us had to show the negative anti-gen test again, while they did not bother as much with our boarding pass.

Another observation is that although some plane companies still try to encourage business by low prices, their luggage prices appear to have been raised.
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Recent travel between Denmark and Switzerland taught me that testing for Covid is something one really has to factor into one's time and budget. In Denmark, I had to do a PCR test in order to be considered ready to fly. It had to be no older than 72 hours before departure. At the check-in at the airport, I had to first show the negative PCR test result, and then the ticket. It was enough to have the test result on the phone.

While in Switzerland, I considered going to France but learned that a required PCR test would cost close to 200 CHF (four times the bus ticket I had looked at) and worse the testing facility had eight days of waiting time. I opted to return to Denmark and for that only had to do a rapid antigen test, which cost 80 CHF at the Zürich airport. At the airport of arrival, I had to do another rapid antigen test, which delayed our exit by an hour. After the testing, we could begin our long walk from the new spacious testing area to pick up the luggage, that had been unloaded and left standing on the silent nonmoving conveyer belt.

The airports in Zürich and Copenhagen are very empty, the scheduled planes leaving and departing are few, long rows of check-in counters and security check stations are closed. When departing from Zürich, we spoke to an employee at the check-in counter and mentioned the emptiness. She revealed it was her first evening at work since one year; prior to that, she had worked at the airport for 20 years. She added that so much has changed in the procedures, that it is like having to learn it all over again. At the gate, some of us had to show the negative anti-gen test again, while they did not bother as much with our boarding pass.

Another observation is that although some plane companies still try to encourage business by low prices, their luggage prices appear to have been raised.
This is incredible. It is like to be in a Science Fiction book. And also your description it is like something that reminds me what was in time of War, during the Second one where traveling was rare, no tourists at all and airports were spaces of surveillance and void of people, spaces grey and metallic. and rigid and not fun at all, not what it was one year ago. How sad.
 

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Below is an example of what it was like travelling within the EU from Copenhagen to France by plane in early April 2021. At this time France was in the process of tightening one of their lockdowns which was enforced within a few days. Although the rules are always changing, I have included details, since they may indicate what one may have to look out for in a situation similar to the present.

Getting the PCR test done
To enter France I needed a PCR test that was less than 72 hours old. I found out when there was a time available and how long it would take to get the test result since it would make no sense to book a ticket if the PCR test could not be done and results returned before departure. Then I studied ticket prices and found a ticket that was reasonable in terms of price and which could be rebooked for free. I decided to buy the ticket directly from the carrier rather than through an agent as I wanted the best service in case I needed to rebook. It may depend from company to company and from agent to agent. Sometimes an agent only sells you the ticket and the rest of the interaction in case of problems is with the company or carrier. In other cases, the carrier will refer rebooking etc back to the agent through which one has bought the ticket. I decided to buy a ticket with Lufthansa. They offer to rebook even at short notice. The time of arrival and departure would not necessitate travelling very late or very early when the rules for travel might be even more restricted. The day after buying the ticket and taking the less than 72 hour PCR test, I received a series of emails one of which informed me that a passenger that transit through German airports needs a PCR test that is less than 48 hours old at the time of departure. This discovery required booking and taking one more PCR test. The lesson here is that one will need to consider the regulations not only of the country one wishes to visit but also of the transit countries. Note also that regulations do not only include PCR tests or antigen tests, but also the use of masks. In Frankfurt, surgical masks were accepted for visiting shops, but in Munich, I needed a FFP2 mask or equivalent. As I did not have one with me, I was not allowed to enter the duty-free area. Along the way, I also learned that different airlines have different rules. For Austrian one needs FFP2, N95 or similar, for Lufthansa surgical mask will also do while Swiss also accepts what they called community masks while masks with valves were not accepted by any of them.

One form to fill out before arriving
Before boarding the plane in Munich, the evidence of the negative PCR tests were checked twice. This was in addition to the verification already done during check-in at the airport of departure. Also, we had to have or prepare for a sworn and signed statement. They gave me one in French to fill out corresponding to be me being an EU citizen. On this page, one can read that there are three classifications:
1. TRAVEL TO/FROM A EUROPEAN AREA COUNTRY
2. TRAVEL TO/FROM AUSTRALIA, SOUTH KOREA, ISRAEL, JAPAN, NEW ZEALAND, UNITED KINGDOM, SINGAPORE
3. TRAVEL TO/FROM AN OTHER COUNTRY OUTSIDE THE EUROPEAN AREA
For each, they explain the rules of mobility with respect to "Metropolitan France" which encompasses the whole of European France. For category one and two they write: "Entry into metropolitan France is permitted for all categories of travellers from these countries. The compelling reasons system does not apply within the European Area." For category three they write: "Only travellers who have a compelling reason are permitted to enter Metropolitan France." No matter which category there is a form to fill out and for our flight we were asked twice before departure if we had one. The forms depend on the category as you will see from the two examples below the spoilers. For category one:
SWORN STATEMENT TO ABIDE BY THE RULES FOR ENTRY INTO METROPOLITAN NATIONAL TERRITORY
(traveller aged above 11 years)​

This statement shall be presented to the transport companies before boarding and to the border control authorities, together with the certificate of a negative virology screening (PCR) test conducted less than 72 hours earlier.
I, the undersigned,

Mr/Mrs: ...

Born on:

At:

Residing at:

Hereby declares on my honour that I have not had any of the following symptoms during the last 48 hours:
  • Fever or chills;
  • Cough or aggravation of my usual cough;
  • Unusual fatigue;
  • Unusual shortness of breath when I speak or make the slightest effort;
  • muscle pain and/or unusual aches and pains;
  • Unexpected headaches;
  • Loss of taste or smell;
  • Unusual diarrhoea.
Hereby declare on my honour that I have no knowledge of having been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19;

Hereby pledge on my honour to: Undergo an antigenic test or any screening upon arrival;

Done in:

On: at h

Signature:
, For category three:
TRAVEL CERTIFICATE TO METROPOLITAN FRANCE FROM A COUNTRY

CLASSIFIED AS A COVID 19 INFECTION CIRCULATION ZONE

(*ALL COUNTRIES EXCLUDING EU MEMBER STATES, ANDORRA, ICELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN, MONACO, NORWAY, SAN MARINO, SWITZERLAND, VATICAN CITY, AUSTRALIA, SOUTH KOREA, ISRAEL, JAPAN, NEW ZEALAND, THE UNITED KINGDOM, SINGAPORE)​


Passengers wishing to travel to Metropolitan France must present this certificate to the transport companies before boarding and to the border control authorities. Failure to do so, shall result in the passenger being denied boarding or access to the territory. Additionally, the following must be presented:​

  • A sworn statement certifying the absence of COVID-19 symptoms and absence of any contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19;​
  • A sworn statement to take an antigenic test or possibly undergo screening upon arrival;​
  • A sworn statement to self-isolate for seven days, if necessary, in one of the facilities designated by the French authorities, along with a sworn statement to undergo a virological screening (PCR) test at the end of the isolation period.​
  • For persons aged 11 years or more, a virological screening test (PCR) carried out less than 72 hours before boarding, showing no COVID-19 infection;​

To be completed by the passenger:

I, the undersigned,

Mr/Mrs: ...

Born on:

Nationality:

Residing at:

Hereby certify that my reason for travel is for one of the following compelling reasons (tick the appropriate box):

[ ] 1. French citizen, and their spouse (married, civil union or cohabiting partner) and their children;

[ ] 2. Citizen of the European Union or equivalent, and their spouse (married, civil union or cohabiting partner) and their children, whose main residence is in France or who is returning, in transit through France, to their main residence in a European Union country or equivalent or to a country whose nationality they hold;

[ ] 3. Citizen of a third country who is a holder of a valid French or European residence permit or long-stay visa, who has their main residence in France or who is returning, in transit through France, to their main residence in a European Union country or equivalent (valid only if the travel abroad took place prior to 31 January 2021 or was justified by a compelling reason);

[ ] 4. British citizen and members of their family who are beneficiaries of the Agreement on withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community; (valid only if the travel abroad took place prior to 31 January 2021 or was justified by a compelling reason);

[ ] 5. Citizen of a third country holding a long-stay visa issued for the purpose of family reunion or reunification of refugee families, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and stateless persons;

[ ] 6. Health or research professional contributing to the fight against COVID-19 or recruited as an associate trainee;

[ ] 7. A third-country citizen with a “Talent Passport” LSV

[ ] 8. Student moving to France for the second semester of the academic year as part of a higher education institution programme; Researcher moving to France at the invitation of a research laboratory, for research activities imperatively requiring their physical presence

[ ] 9. Land, sea and air transport sector workers or transport service providers, including drivers of vehicles carrying goods intended for use in the territory, as well as those who are only in transit, or travelling as passengers returning to their home base or for training purposes;

[ ] 10. Foreign citizen working for a diplomatic or consular mission, or an international organisation with its headquarters or an office in France, as well as their spouse and their children or a foreign citizen of a third country staying in France for a compelling professional reason under a mission order issued by their country of origin;

[ ] 11. Traveller in transit in the international zone for less than 24 hours.​


Done in ................................., on......../......../2021(signature)

Two more forms to fill out
When we were on the plane to France, we were handed a form to fill out, just one page, French on one side, English on another. One needs to know the name and address of the first hotel one stays in, or the address of the place one is going to visit. These forms are collected by a crew member and on our plane, she descended as the first papers in hand to go and deliver them. Later we were allowed to leave the plane.

When we arrived at the passport control, we had to present the signed statement along with our passport. I had a stamp on a slip of paper saying that my PCR test was okay, but I had also opened the test result on my phone and showed it. The official looked with interest and was satisfied. There were others that were met with a lot of questions, In front of me was a person from Taiwan, who had come to see his wife, He came out 15 minutes later, after most people had already left.

Once out, one may still need a paper to move around in the present lockdown situation. It can be found on this page:
Here is an English translation of the introduction:
Across the metropolitan area, a curfew applies from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and reinforced measures are in effect every day of the week from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

From April 3 at 7 p.m., new measures to curb the epidemic are in effect throughout the metropolitan area. To travel, it is mandatory to have a travel certificate.

The travel certificate is mandatory during the day between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. for travel beyond 10 kilometers from home and for all travel between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. throughout the metropolitan area.

Failure to comply with all of these measures will result in:

First sanction: a fine of 135 euros, increased to 375 euros (in the event of non-payment or non-dispute within the time limit indicated on the notice of violation)
In the event of a repeat offense within 15 days: a fine of 200 euros, increased to 450 euros (in the event of non-payment or non-dispute within the time limit indicated on the notice of violation)
After 3 offenses in 30 days: a fine of 3,750 euros punishable by 6 months imprisonment.
The health situation continues to deteriorate in France and the virus is still dangerous for us and our loved ones. It is imperative to remain vigilant in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic.

All information on the government page

Download certificates (available in .pdf, .docx, .txt, digital, FALC and English formats)
I have attached a pdf of this form, so that you can see what such a document may look like. In case you incidentally need to go to France, please use the latest version of such a file from an official site. This is only for the sake of the example. For the purpose of going from the airport to the final destination, both the driver and I had filled out forms ready to be shown in case we were stopped. Had I gone by train, I would have needed such a form too. Since this form is not handed out at the airport, one will need to have some ready before arriving.

People begin to explore their options in spite of more restrictions
As I travelled from Copenhagen through Frankfurt and Munich I noticed more activity and more planes leaving and coming than on earlier occasions since March 2019. My impression is that more people are exploring, working with and around the obstacles and hindrances put in place. There are not many older people travelling, like retired people exploring the world. One needs to be ready to lose, ready to accept an extra bill for a PCR or antigen test, ready to cancel or rebook at the last minute. For instance, one passenger was denied flight because she had an antigen and not a PCR test. She was told she could not leave on that day and was asked to go to the airline service centre, rebook her flight (this was 45 minutes before the departure) and take the test. After a couple of minutes, she accepted this outcome.
 

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loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Below is an example of what it was like travelling within the EU from Copenhagen to France by plane in early April 2021. At this time France was in the process of tightening one of their lockdowns which was enforced within a few days. Although the rules are always changing, I have included details, since they may indicate what one may have to look out for in a situation similar to the present.

Getting the PCR test done
To enter France I needed a PCR test that was less than 72 hours old. I found out when there was a time available and how long it would take to get the test result since it would make no sense to book a ticket if the PCR test could not be done and results returned before departure. Then I studied ticket prices and found a ticket that was reasonable in terms of price and which could be rebooked for free. I decided to buy the ticket directly from the carrier rather than through an agent as I wanted the best service in case I needed to rebook. It may depend from company to company and from agent to agent. Sometimes an agent only sells you the ticket and the rest of the interaction in case of problems is with the company or carrier. In other cases, the carrier will refer rebooking etc back to the agent through which one has bought the ticket. I decided to buy a ticket with Lufthansa. They offer to rebook even at short notice. The time of arrival and departure would not necessitate travelling very late or very early when the rules for travel might be even more restricted. The day after buying the ticket and taking the less than 72 hour PCR test, I received a series of emails one of which informed me that a passenger that transit through German airports needs a PCR test that is less than 48 hours old at the time of departure. This discovery required booking and taking one more PCR test. The lesson here is that one will need to consider the regulations not only of the country one wishes to visit but also of the transit countries. Note also that regulations do not only include PCR tests or antigen tests, but also the use of masks. In Frankfurt, surgical masks were accepted for visiting shops, but in Munich, I needed a FFP2 mask or equivalent. As I did not have one with me, I was not allowed to enter the duty-free area. Along the way, I also learned that different airlines have different rules. For Austrian one needs FFP2, N95 or similar, for Lufthansa surgical mask will also do while Swiss also accepts what they called community masks while masks with valves were not accepted by any of them.

One form to fill out before arriving
Before boarding the plane in Munich, the evidence of the negative PCR tests were checked twice. This was in addition to the verification already done during check-in at the airport of departure. Also, we had to have or prepare for a sworn and signed statement. They gave me one in French to fill out corresponding to be me being an EU citizen. On this page, one can read that there are three classifications:
1. TRAVEL TO/FROM A EUROPEAN AREA COUNTRY
2. TRAVEL TO/FROM AUSTRALIA, SOUTH KOREA, ISRAEL, JAPAN, NEW ZEALAND, UNITED KINGDOM, SINGAPORE
3. TRAVEL TO/FROM AN OTHER COUNTRY OUTSIDE THE EUROPEAN AREA
For each, they explain the rules of mobility with respect to "Metropolitan France" which encompasses the whole of European France. For category one and two they write: "Entry into metropolitan France is permitted for all categories of travellers from these countries. The compelling reasons system does not apply within the European Area." For category three they write: "Only travellers who have a compelling reason are permitted to enter Metropolitan France." No matter which category there is a form to fill out and for our flight we were asked twice before departure if we had one. The forms depend on the category as you will see from the two examples below the spoilers. For category one:
SWORN STATEMENT TO ABIDE BY THE RULES FOR ENTRY INTO METROPOLITAN NATIONAL TERRITORY
(traveller aged above 11 years)​

This statement shall be presented to the transport companies before boarding and to the border control authorities, together with the certificate of a negative virology screening (PCR) test conducted less than 72 hours earlier.
I, the undersigned,

Mr/Mrs: ...

Born on:

At:

Residing at:

Hereby declares on my honour that I have not had any of the following symptoms during the last 48 hours:
  • Fever or chills;
  • Cough or aggravation of my usual cough;
  • Unusual fatigue;
  • Unusual shortness of breath when I speak or make the slightest effort;
  • muscle pain and/or unusual aches and pains;
  • Unexpected headaches;
  • Loss of taste or smell;
  • Unusual diarrhoea.
Hereby declare on my honour that I have no knowledge of having been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19;

Hereby pledge on my honour to: Undergo an antigenic test or any screening upon arrival;

Done in:

On: at h

Signature:
, For category three:
TRAVEL CERTIFICATE TO METROPOLITAN FRANCE FROM A COUNTRY

CLASSIFIED AS A COVID 19 INFECTION CIRCULATION ZONE

(*ALL COUNTRIES EXCLUDING EU MEMBER STATES, ANDORRA, ICELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN, MONACO, NORWAY, SAN MARINO, SWITZERLAND, VATICAN CITY, AUSTRALIA, SOUTH KOREA, ISRAEL, JAPAN, NEW ZEALAND, THE UNITED KINGDOM, SINGAPORE)​


Passengers wishing to travel to Metropolitan France must present this certificate to the transport companies before boarding and to the border control authorities. Failure to do so, shall result in the passenger being denied boarding or access to the territory. Additionally, the following must be presented:​

  • A sworn statement certifying the absence of COVID-19 symptoms and absence of any contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19;​
  • A sworn statement to take an antigenic test or possibly undergo screening upon arrival;​
  • A sworn statement to self-isolate for seven days, if necessary, in one of the facilities designated by the French authorities, along with a sworn statement to undergo a virological screening (PCR) test at the end of the isolation period.​
  • For persons aged 11 years or more, a virological screening test (PCR) carried out less than 72 hours before boarding, showing no COVID-19 infection;​

To be completed by the passenger:

I, the undersigned,

Mr/Mrs: ...

Born on:

Nationality:

Residing at:

Hereby certify that my reason for travel is for one of the following compelling reasons (tick the appropriate box):

[ ] 1. French citizen, and their spouse (married, civil union or cohabiting partner) and their children;

[ ] 2. Citizen of the European Union or equivalent, and their spouse (married, civil union or cohabiting partner) and their children, whose main residence is in France or who is returning, in transit through France, to their main residence in a European Union country or equivalent or to a country whose nationality they hold;

[ ] 3. Citizen of a third country who is a holder of a valid French or European residence permit or long-stay visa, who has their main residence in France or who is returning, in transit through France, to their main residence in a European Union country or equivalent (valid only if the travel abroad took place prior to 31 January 2021 or was justified by a compelling reason);

[ ] 4. British citizen and members of their family who are beneficiaries of the Agreement on withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community; (valid only if the travel abroad took place prior to 31 January 2021 or was justified by a compelling reason);

[ ] 5. Citizen of a third country holding a long-stay visa issued for the purpose of family reunion or reunification of refugee families, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and stateless persons;

[ ] 6. Health or research professional contributing to the fight against COVID-19 or recruited as an associate trainee;

[ ] 7. A third-country citizen with a “Talent Passport” LSV

[ ] 8. Student moving to France for the second semester of the academic year as part of a higher education institution programme; Researcher moving to France at the invitation of a research laboratory, for research activities imperatively requiring their physical presence

[ ] 9. Land, sea and air transport sector workers or transport service providers, including drivers of vehicles carrying goods intended for use in the territory, as well as those who are only in transit, or travelling as passengers returning to their home base or for training purposes;

[ ] 10. Foreign citizen working for a diplomatic or consular mission, or an international organisation with its headquarters or an office in France, as well as their spouse and their children or a foreign citizen of a third country staying in France for a compelling professional reason under a mission order issued by their country of origin;

[ ] 11. Traveller in transit in the international zone for less than 24 hours.​


Done in ................................., on......../......../2021(signature)

Two more forms to fill out
When we were on the plane to France, we were handed a form to fill out, just one page, French on one side, English on another. One needs to know the name and address of the first hotel one stays in, or the address of the place one is going to visit. These forms are collected by a crew member and on our plane, she descended as the first papers in hand to go and deliver them. Later we were allowed to leave the plane.

When we arrived at the passport control, we had to present the signed statement along with our passport. I had a stamp on a slip of paper saying that my PCR test was okay, but I had also opened the test result on my phone and showed it. The official looked with interest and was satisfied. There were others that were met with a lot of questions, In front of me was a person from Taiwan, who had come to see his wife, He came out 15 minutes later, after most people had already left.

Once out, one may still need a paper to move around in the present lockdown situation. It can be found on this page:
Here is an English translation of the introduction:

I have attached a pdf of this form, so that you can see what such a document may look like. In case you incidentally need to go to France, please use the latest version of such a file from an official site. This is only for the sake of the example. For the purpose of going from the airport to the final destination, both the driver and I had filled out forms ready to be shown in case we were stopped. Had I gone by train, I would have needed such a form too. Since this form is not handed out at the airport, one will need to have some ready before arriving.

People begin to explore their options in spite of more restrictions
As I travelled from Copenhagen through Frankfurt and Munich I noticed more activity and more planes leaving and coming than on earlier occasions since March 2019. My impression is that more people are exploring, working with and around the obstacles and hindrances put in place. There are not many older people travelling, like retired people exploring the world. One needs to be ready to lose, ready to accept an extra bill for a PCR or antigen test, ready to cancel or rebook at the last minute. For instance, one passenger was denied flight because she had an antigen and not a PCR test. She was told she could not leave on that day and was asked to go to the airline service centre, rebook her flight (this was 45 minutes before the departure) and take the test. After a couple of minutes, she accepted this outcome.
Thanks for all this information. I say: this is a nightmare!!!
 
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