If you would like to travel now, be prepared for regular swab tests, be it ART or PCR, that is just how it is these days. During my trip previously, I will need to take up to 12 swabs. With the rule changed now and the amount of swabs test needed have much much reduced. There is even a waiver period of 90 days if you have recently got a positive infection. I was heading to Italy to meet up with my family after doing a solo trip for the last 2 weeks and by the rules and my travel history, I will need to get a swab test before entering Italy. I was heading to Turin the next day and as such, I will be required to have a negative swab test result to enter quarantine free. I would just like to briefly share my ART COVID-19 Testing Experience in Paris, France! This should be rather useful since there are plenty of VTL travellers heading to Paris from Singapore.
Booking & Cost
I am surprised by the sheer amount of testing locations in Paris. You can just drop by any pharmacy in the city and you should have no issue finding so. There should be clear signs outside that says if ART or PCR testing is available. I can also see plenty of those testing tents around the city when I walk around. I stayed around the Gare de Lyon area and according to my hotel staff there are more than 3 testing places around the area. I didn’t make a reservation but simply walk into one of the pharmacies to inquiry about doing one. The pharmacy I went to was just around the corner and opposite the train station. It is called Pharmacie Train Bleu Gare de Lyon.
First, you queue up at the pharmacy cashier and inform the pharmacist that you would like to do an ART testing then they will pass you a slip of paper to fill up your details. You will also make payment over here. They will then pass you a receipt. For both the safety of the staff as well as the customers testing is done at a site just around the corner and you will wait outside for your turn. Testing prices seems to be regulated and it cost 25.01 Euros for an ART test.
As with Seeing The World In Steps skeptical and paranoid mindset, as per the usual, pandemic mode is on. I wore both an N95 and a surgical mask. Armed with wipes and hand sanitiser to spray me down after the testing. I was surprised to find a long queue and there are plenty of people waiting to get swabbed. It certainly isn’t a good idea to head to a pharmacy near a train station and for this reason, I will not recommend you to head here. I saw that the other pharmacies are empty around the city. While queueing, you can scan a QR code to fill in your personal details and do make sure that your email, date of birth and passport number are correct since these are the most crucial info. You won’t want your swab test result to be invalid over a typo.
I waited for more than 45 mins before it was my turn. The swab was alright and typical. Head in, pull down your mask to just expose your nose and the swabber will then do the swab. You can then leave. It takes less than 5 mins. This is also where I had a huge scare since I saw that there is a positive result on the swabber table which means that I was actually queueing behind a COVID positive person earlier! This was way too close! I don’t think that I have realised I was this close to a contact in Europe during this trip. The risk is there because only 2 groups of people will go for testing, either the travellers or those who are feeling under the weather. You never know!
My results were out in less than 30 mins. By the time that I walked to Place de la Bastille. I received an email with my results. The results are in both French and English. It even comes in a EUDCC format and it is automatically reflected in my French TousAntiCovid app. Hope this helps! Have fun in Paris. Stay tuned for the next episode of my travels!