Curfew interlude between confinements
France requires you to present a negative PCR test, carried out less than 72 hours before departure to enter France.
PCR tests in the US guarantee the results within seven days.
There are quicker tests available that guarantee results in minutes, but these tests are not valid.
The Testimony of Grandparents
Two grandparents scheduled their appointments together exactly 72 hours before their scheduled departure to allow maximum time for processing.
They packed their bags and showed up at the airport not knowing if they were going to leave that day.
One test result came back negative, the other was still pending.
One grandparent got on the plane, then other didn’t.
Fifteen minutes later, the test results came in.
Those same test results are already invalid for any future flight as the 72 hour limit was already up.
She changed her flight, printed a new boarding pass, scheduled a new PCR test, and waited to do it all over again four days later.
The second time she got her test results in time.
The First-Hand Experience of a Single Man
Having heard these kind of experiences. He decided to outsmart the system.
He spent countless hours at the clinic getting the PCR test done three times a day for several days.
This way he was sure to have a result within the timing.
None of his test results came back in time for his flight.
The airline informed him that their willingness to change the ticket on the account of delayed test results and with no extra fees, was a grace that would only be offered once. The next time he better have his test results.
This time he found a service willing to expedite his PCR test results and guarantee their arrival — for a fee of $500.
If you’re following the market, that’s the average price for a round-trip ticket from the US to France right now.
High pressure situations, anxiety, uncertainty. Sadness. Anger. Fear.
Even seasoned travelers with years of experience accumulating mechanisms in their arsenal for coping with travel fatigue, will now be confronted with an ever changing set of rules.
On top of the overall elevated stress levels of living in a pandemic, the perception that changes are arbitrary and the underlying unfairness of it all are exacerbated by the complete lack of control that you have over anything during your travel itinerary.