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EU citizen returning from US to France- advice appreciated

EU citizen returning from US to France- advice appreciated

Old Aug 3, 20, 8:25 pm
  #1  
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EU citizen returning from US to France- advice appreciated

I've got myself into quite a difficult situation. Would appreciate some advice.

I'm an Italian citizen, resident in France.

I left France for Boston on Thursday, the same day that France announced that all passengers from 4 countries (US among them) will now have to produce a negative Covid test, taken under 72 hours prior to departure.
Although the cases are well under control in Massachusetts, labs are now taking the overflow from the "red" states and as such two weeks ago it became impossible to get a Covid test result in Massachusetts in under 10 days. With cases exploding in the US this is not going to end anytime soon.

Irrelevant to regulations but anecdotally I already had Covid in March and just preventatively I took a test one day before departing France (last Wednesday) which was negative.

I was supposed to stay for two weeks but the situation is quickly deteriorating and I am leaving as soon as possible (tomorrow or Wednesday) before other countries impose the same restrictions. I booked a flight to Amsterdam where I will spend a few days alone- if necessary the full 14 days. Then fly back to Paris.

There doesn't seem to be any restriction on entering the Netherlands though quarantine is strongly advised. Does that mean you can't leave NL for 14 days? Any worries about being denied entry as an Italian into NL? Timatic doesn't show anything saying I cannot enter.

The other option is to fly BOS-Germany or Milan...

Thoughts?

Thanks.
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Old Aug 3, 20, 8:33 pm
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Unsure where youíre flying to in France, but I recently flew from Toronto to AMS to TLS on a Canadian passport. I wonít comment on how AMS will handle a flight from USA, but they didnít ask me about my health forms or origin or travel history.

e-gates were operational, but slow because people didnít understand that masks had to be removed. But they then had to go around another corridor, not the usual exits. Unsure what happened after going through e-gates since I canít use those.

In Toulouse, they didnít ask me anything at their unconstitutional passport control: it seems to still be about keeping refugees out and not health.
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Last edited by tecate55; Aug 3, 20 at 8:41 pm
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Old Aug 3, 20, 8:42 pm
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Originally Posted by tecate55 View Post
Unsure where you’re flying to in France, but I recently flew from Toronto to AMS to TLS on a Canadian passport. I won’t comment on how AMS will handle a flight from USA, but they didn’t ask me about my health forms or origin or travel history.

In Toulouse, they didn’t ask me anything at their unconstitutional passport control: it seems to still be about keeping refugees out and not health.
From what I saw on the Netherlands' Foreign affairs office there is no justification required for EU citizens to enter NL. The catch is the quarantine which is "mandatory" but I have no idea how this is carried out in reality.

I am hoping the worst case scenario is that they tell me to quarantine and allow me to enter.

My hope would be to spend a few days in Amsterdam-- get a Covid test at Schiphol-- and then return to France.

My fear is not being admitted to NL and/or not being able to leave for 14 days.

Last edited by bostontraveler; Aug 3, 20 at 8:49 pm
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Old Aug 3, 20, 9:42 pm
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Perhaps this might be useful for PCR tests? Also for a flight departing by tomorrow, Aug 4th you can take a PCR test upon arrival (this provision ends by tomorrow!).
https://newyork.consulfrance.org/cor...e-faire-tester

Otherwise I find it very difficult to find concrete information regarding EU citizen transiting through other EU country (like overnight layover) but it overall appears that's not a real problem. Most countries though require some for of quarantine (very specific to the country, unfortunately) but you can likely get a swift PCR test at the airport (for instance in Prague, result in 12 hrs or expressly in 3 hrs) and in Czech Rep., PCR test done in Czechia within 84 hrs of arrival waives any quarantine requirement.

It's quite difficult to get a swift turnaround on a PCR test in US right now given the amount of tests made daily, unfortunately.
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Old Aug 4, 20, 1:44 am
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Originally Posted by tecate55 View Post
(...) In Toulouse, they didnít ask me anything at their unconstitutional passport control: (...).
Those counterproductive, waste of resources passport controls are unfortunately not unconstitutional.

France is using (abusing) a provision of the Schengen agreement which allows a country to unilaterally suspend the Schengen accord in case of exceptional circumstances.

The French bureaucracy found a way to recover their lost power after the agreement was signed, by first suspending the Schengen agreement after the Bataclan terrorist attacks then renewing the said suspension again and again.

Other countries say nothing (France being France) and French politicians don't care. The few who do are afraid to be accused of wanting an "open border" France, so they let it continue.

This is nothing surprising. Remember the customs and passport control booth at the land borders? France was the last country to demolish them. It took years (till they were literally falling apart) for French authorities to tear them down (when for years, one had been seamlessly driving between Germany/NL/Belgium for example).

Sad, but this is the way it is....

Last edited by carnarvon; Aug 4, 20 at 3:43 pm
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Old Aug 4, 20, 4:46 am
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Originally Posted by carnarvon View Post

France is using (abusing) a provision of the Schengen agreement which allows a country to unilaterally suspend the Schengen accord in case of exceptional circumstances.
Allowed temporarily. Renewing them every expiration is the real abuse (and imo unlawful). Especially as some degree of renewals are permitted, so obviously the legal intent was for them to not be permanent.

Last edited by tecate55; Aug 4, 20 at 4:55 am
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Old Aug 4, 20, 4:43 pm
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You sure thats for transit passengers as well and not just arrivals?

What airline are you flying, perhaps you can get a refund, or at least an eCredit and book another flight direct to Italy. With all the crazy covid restrictions, its always best to fly direct, even if it costs more and theotetically the transfer should be fine.

I'll give you 2 examples from clients of mine.

A Filipino American who wants to head back to Manila, he found a much cheaper flight with Cathay through Hong Kong from Los Angeles rather then direct LAX to MNL with Phil Airlines. I told him its just a bad idea even if Hong Kong theoretically "allows transit passengers" but who knows, why risk it to save a few hundred bucks.

Also have had American clients wanting to head to Ukraine which is open to Americans and transferring in the EU which is supposedly allowing transit of Americans, but why risk it and then when you get on the ground you aren't allowed through.

Another issue is even if you are following the rules the airlines, especially the gate agents may be bigger sticklers than the immigration agents and not let you board even if you're in the clear.

My advice as someone whose been doing this for a living, you have 2 options:

1. Take the flight to Netherlands, take your chances. 80% chance you won't have an issue with an EU passport but 20% something wrong happens: Small chance gate agents deny you right to fly, small chance Netherlands immigration deny's you entry small chance you are allowed entry in Netherlands but given a 14 day quarantine order. Also even if the order can't be enforced, if you just leave and take the next flight to Italy without complying with the order you would be breaking the law.
2. Chalk up the cost of the flight and just fly direct from any airport in the US to either FCO or Milan and lower the chances of having some issue drastically. You are an Italian citizen you cannot be denied entry into your own country.

Most likely nothing bad will happen but if you have some urgent matters to attend to within a few days on arrival, i'd try to get an ecredit or refund for your current ticket, and if not just chalk it up as a loss for the crazy times we are living in and book another ticket direct to Italy from USA anyways. So I guess it really boils down to how much time you have to kill should something go wrong or not. We don't know your personal situation, but considering what other posters have said that NL is demanding 14 day quarantine, I wouldn't go unless you are ready to do said quarantine. Maybe you get away with it short term but NL records a record that you left to Italy before completing the quarantine and you could get banned from NL, fined, even arrested, who knows.

TLDR - Just book a flight direct to Italy from any US airport and save the potential trouble.

Best of luck buddy!

Last edited by PointsPanda; Aug 4, 20 at 5:09 pm
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Old Aug 4, 20, 5:29 pm
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Thanks for your message. well, I was allowed to board- now we will see what happens.

The issue with the Dutch language is that it says that quarantine is "strongly advised". It doesn't say it is mandatory nor does it list any penalties. But I could have missed something....
https://www.government.nl/topics/cor...elf-quarantine

If they deny me entry I have a separate ticket to France that I can use as a backup. If I arrive to CDG tomorrow I won't be subject to producing a negative Covid test result.
Option two would be to fly to MIlan.

I guess we will see what happens when I land.
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Old Aug 4, 20, 10:11 pm
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Please post how did it go at the end. Flying via SFO-CDG / CDG-PRG next week and SFO-AMS-PRG is my backup flight (though I will be armed with negative PCR result).
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Old Aug 5, 20, 1:31 am
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Well I'm happy to say I made it into the Netherlands. No questions asked at passport control or at customs. Nobody wanted (or asked for) the health questionnaire.
They were, however, extremely meticulous (I think they are bored) in x-raying bags before exiting. Now we'll see NL-->FR how that experience is....
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Old Aug 14, 20, 9:58 am
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Quick question if anyone has experience flying US-FR on AF: the website states that specifically FFP1/2/3 masks must be worn on board, but how is that enforced leaving from the US? (I'm not asking about wearing a mask in general, just about the type of mask required). There are several kinds of disposable masks available in the US, but I am having a very hard time finding FFP masks (and I believe FFP is a EU standard).
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Old Aug 14, 20, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by Oxymore View Post
Quick question if anyone has experience flying US-FR on AF: the website states that specifically FFP1/2/3 masks must be worn on board, but how is that enforced leaving from the US? (I'm not asking about wearing a mask in general, just about the type of mask required). There are several kinds of disposable masks available in the US, but I am having a very hard time finding FFP masks (and I believe FFP is a EU standard).
i flew last week and nobody was checking anyoneís mask. As long as you have a surgical
mask (the most common ones) I doubt youíll have a problem.
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Old Aug 14, 20, 11:00 am
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well just an update... I did make it back fine to CDG. Aside from the annoying pop-up passport controls that never seem to go away at 2F everything was fine. They asked where I was coming.from- I said Amsterdam and that was it.
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Old Aug 14, 20, 3:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Oxymore View Post
Quick question if anyone has experience flying US-FR on AF: the website states that specifically FFP1/2/3 masks must be worn on board, but how is that enforced leaving from the US? (I'm not asking about wearing a mask in general, just about the type of mask required). There are several kinds of disposable masks available in the US, but I am having a very hard time finding FFP masks (and I believe FFP is a EU standard).
you need to wear a disposable mask (Any type) and not a washable/reusable one.
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Old Aug 14, 20, 5:23 pm
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I flight from DTW to CDG Tuesday the 11,
They check the covid test (made in the last 72h). But nothing about the mask (you must wear one (I use a disposable one (use in healt center))).
Also the documentations require to travel (Embassy say me this include transiting by CDG):
- ATTESTATION DE D…PLACEMENT
- DECLARATION SUR L’HONNEUR
NO one ask or even made a comment about this documents, more a lost of time than anything else.

Last edited by FBplatinum; Aug 15, 20 at 5:20 am Reason: change 12 for 11
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