Just boarded the WBY. Boarding was smooth (not a guard in sight), they were not really interested in the sworn declarations. Doesn’t seem quite as full as before, but by no means empty. Lady Gregory restaurant is back open again - still expensive.
Enjoy your holiday! Would love to hear an update next week on how it all went, border control, campsite facilities, number of Irish on the campsite etc.
Good news from my campsite. The health pass will be checked on the way in once and then free to use the pool and restaurant for the duration of our stay and not have to do continuous pcr/antigen tests
Just settling down for our dinner after a day at the beach. Similar to the post above, at the campsite, they checked the “health pass” status of everyone when checking in, and that is it for the week. They were quite strict as the person before us was 5 days after their second vaccination, and that was causing a problem.
Masks are enforced indoors, but that aside, everything else is the same as before, pool all facilities, the terrible entertainment. We stopped on the way down in Nantes, and it was similar. Definitely less English, Irish and Dutch around, though our site is still full, and the autoroute was a bit quieter.
One interesting titbit. As we were coming off the boat, the border control (who were quick and pleasant) took all our documents to process. The guy in the next queue - we could hear the conversation, as two customs officers share a booth - didn’t have any vaccination, or a Test. The gave him a brief lecture, and told him he needed to go to the local hospital, and get a test, but ultimately they just waved him through, with no follow up. Doesn’t seem like they were interested in pulling him aside, or sending him back on the next ferry. I certainly wouldn’t be too worried if your test is a few hours over, or you are not quite 2 weeks since your vaccination.
In fairness, the guy played it well, pleasant, smiley and didn’t disagree with them
We're heading over on July 31st. At this stage one of us has received our vaccine cert, but the other hasn't yet (despite being fully vaccinated since March).
We'll be chasing up the other cert, but based on media reports I'm not feeling confident about getting it.
This will mean one of us travelling with just the HSE paper card that they gave you after getting the jabs.
Anyone in similar position? What are you planning to do?
I'm less worried about getting into France with it. More worried about campsite, restaurants, attractions etc. not accepting it.
Sailed from Rosslare to Cherbourg with stena line yesterday. 2 full vaccinated and 2 with antigen tests and 1 under 12. No issue in Rosslare. Quite a few English campervans on the boat. Mask wearing mandatory very few not following the rules mainly eastern European. Very smooth sailing not packed by any means. I wouldn't book the reclining chairs. The noise and vibration in the room is chronic. The border check was fairly thorough. But no bother so off down the road with us
English camper vans? Strange. Wonder were they NI?
No English reg avoiding quarantine
Expensive way to avoid quarantine. I wouldn't go to all that unless they are retired. 🤷🏼♂️
Depends if you only got 14 days and want to get away. Also the sailing was cheap enough.
Does anyone know a good place in Cherbourg to pull in after driving off the ferry? 2 cars travelling together, 1 nervous driver. The cars will not be together on the ferry so will need to meet up in Cherbourg. I'm guessing there is nowhere suitable to pull in before customs so probably need to leave the terminal?
you can pull in just after customs, usually a good few cars stopped there. Alternatively stop at the big Auchan Hypermarché on the way out of town.
When we got off on Friday just before you enter the lanes to security there is a large area to your left. A few lorries were stopped there
what are the chances that French Border Security will accept the NHS vaccine cards as proof of vaccination? Still waiting on our vaccine cert from Dept of Health NI!
Thank you - that's really helpful
Yes there's places on your right hand side just after customs and also outside the port on your right hand side have used them many times doing final checks on kids.. just remember stay on right hand side of the road, maybe something on the dash of the nervous driver to remind them at junctions etc..🤷🏼♂️ enjoy your hols..
Haha I remember a few years back we had to stop here and when we opened the car door whatever happened, a big bag of aptimul just burst on the ground. We shat ourselves but french customs must be well used to it as they didn’t come running after us. For some reason we thought we were drug mules but it gave us a good laugh (once we got up the hill 😂)
Anybody pre-book a pcr test appointment in France for their return journey?
Had a look at doing this but the labs near our destination dont have an easy booking procedure or else you have to do it by phone. I don't think my French would be up to organising this over the phone with totally confusing them. Cant find email address for anybody - which might be a better option than my conversation french, but I have plenty of fax numbers.
Theres lots of space around an unmanned petrol station which on your left as you exit the ferry area. I have no idea what diesel is costing in Ireland but I paid 1.39 yesterday in a supermarket.
if you are feeling a bit nervous driving , use the ring road around Cherbourg.
Im just back from a few days along the French side of the Spanish border and Landes department. I stayed in 7 campsites and no-one asked me for my Corona cert.
We booked one over the phone, just asked did they speak English and they were able to help us....
Was it a test lab or medical screening centre that you booked ? There are plenty of village screening centres around, some that don't need require appointment ( link to one near us https://www.bilancoronavirus.fr/depistage/vasles-79340/laboratoire-cabinet-infirmier ) but I'm not sure if they are doing pcr testing for travel reasons. The 72 hour timing is a bit of a challenge for us as return sailing is mon 23rd and we will be driving most of that day. I think we need to have it done for our 16yo on Sat afternoon.
Yeah we are in a similar situation with the timings of the test to give ourselves enough time to get results before sailing. We will be fine for boarding but it will have been 75ish hours before we are in Dublin, hoping we won't have any issues. We booked with novabio .fr but I notice now they are only in Drodogne area
Just search under "PCR test Cherbourg" or where ever you are near. I used doctolib.fr and you get the results online early the next morning. Looking at their site in Cherbourg theres plenty of available slots. You can take a chance an drive in also.
Here's the route from the ferry to the roundabout, Google Maps will have coverage from there on.
Cruising on board WB Yeats now. Fairly full (60%) with plenty of trucks and vans. Some tourists although nowhere near normal levels. At check-in IF guy asked if we had Covid certs / tests etc and we said we had. He told us that the French are checking 1 in 4 cars so we should get lucky and not have any hassle.
We got our NI covid vaccine certs this morning which wasn’t ideal but better late than never.
I will update on french customs once we get settled after a day of driving down to the Vendee.
thanks for that , we are travelling up to and boarding in Cherbourg on the same day so I assumed there would be an issue at boarding if we just had the test taken but not the actual result . Would you know if that's not the case ?
We have stayed in Sylvamar in Labenne previously but I have been eyeing up Camping Capfun Le Bougidau as a potential for next year. Don't suppose that featured in your travels this year and, if it did, any opinions on it either way? Cheers
Does anyone know what time the ferry arrives in Rosslare? Leaves Cherbourg 1500. I think perhaps it is around 8am, does that sound right? Im just trying to plan where to get the pcr for my kids coming home.
No need to be worried about campsite or attractions etc. I've been in Bordeaux since July 11th (WBY was at about 10% capacity on the sailing over) and everything is open and more or less same rules as at home i.e. socially distance in queues and wear a mask indoors. No restrictions on indoor dining or drinking, no requirement to show proof of vaccination or negative PCR test (other than boarding the WBY and at Cherbourg) and no reduction in capacity / access to swimming pool or entertainment area's etc. It's basically the same as ever but with the universal Covid precautions of mask wearing indoors and social distancing in queue's we are all living with at home.
BTW, when looking for a PCR test for older kids or those without DCC's when returning home if you do a Google search you'll be bombarded with ton's of sites which purport to offer either testing or info on testing but all they are doing is harvesting your contact details for spamming at a later stage.
The official site to book PCR testing is https://www.doctolib.fr. You just need to enter your location (or allow the site to identify your location) and the nearest testing sites will be listed with their availability in diary format for the coming week etc. You click on a time and location you want (make sure it's within 72 hours OF ARRIVAL in Ireland), follow the appointment setup process (auto Google Translate using Chrome browser will be your friend) and bob's your uncle your PCR test is booked. One of my older kids had to fly back so I've been through the process and it was smooth. He turned up at the test centre with his passport, they tested him entered his email and mobile phone number and 24 hours later he got an SMS with a link to a downloadable cert confirming he was negative. They didn't charge him at all either which I think they're supposed to if you're not a French citizen but they just couldn't be bothered.
We've been onsite quite a long way down the south west coast near Mimizan for almost 3 weeks and haven't seen another Irish person or an Irish car either onsite or on any of our jaunting around and only one UK reg car. The Irish and English (normally about 20% of the site capacity according to one of the staff here) have all been replaced by "staycationing" French and Dutch and Germans who normally fly to Spain etc but are now driving overland for holidays due to Covid.
Thanks a million, that's v useful info 54. Can't wait now, we're heading off on Thursday night 😄