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So with Macron's announcement yesterday I would anticipate that trips to France in early Summer are as good as dead in the water. 

We had the last 2 weeks in June booked for the Armorique from Plymouth to Roscoff. This was a delayed booking from the same time last year. 

Do you think BF will honour a refund or will we have the option to rebook for later in the year (My preferred option if we can't go in June) ?

 

Kind regards,

Mark.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The current French lockdown could be eased on May 1st, so fingers crossed! There's a number of sources of updated info about France; there are people on this forum who live there, and other online info such as The Connexion.  

I'm not aware of BF offering any special refund options at present, so that will all boil down to what sort of ticket you have. You can cancel your booking if you have a flexi ticket, but will lose your deposit if I remember correctly. BF have recently announced that bookings for 2022 are now available online, but not for all crossings just yet. Check BF ferries update. You could manage your booking online and change your dates to next year, or indeed later this year.

My main concern is about the UK regulations about travelling to France. We're hoping to sail on June 11th (Portsmouth-Caen) then June 27th (Cherbourg-Poole), and will be travelling to Provence. Even IF foreign travel is permitted from the earliest possible date of May 17th, and even IF France is given a green light under the traffic light system,  we will still need to get an official covid test before leaving the UK, and also before leaving France on our return. At present this will cost quite a bit of money. Also, if you have a positive test (under the green light system), you could be required to self isolate at home for 10 days on your return. We're keeping an eye on this, and if the situation isn't clearer by May 10th, we'll be moving our ferry booking to next year. The stress and uncertainty of having to obtain an official covid test in France within 3 days of going home, the bureaucracy of whether or not the results are available as required, and the remote possibility of a positive test, mean we're likely to not bother with our planned trip. We'll only travel if submitting a covid test is not a requirement.

Good luck Mark, keep us posted as to how you get on, and I'll certainly be back with an update of my plans.

MODS I'm still getting a "your content will need to be approved by a moderator" message when I post. Some of my posts have taken days to appear here. Is this meant to be the case?

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3 minutes ago, Mitchell32 said:

MODS I'm still getting a "your content will need to be approved by a moderator" message when I post. Some of my posts have taken days to appear here. Is this meant to be the case?

Yes, sorry Mitchell, it’s an automated thing with all new members of the site.   Approval is needed for the first 10 posts for any new member.  You are up to 6 now, so it will happen for the next 4 posts.  Time to approve just depends on who is online when - sometimes it takes just minutes (or even seconds), some times a little longer.

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36 minutes ago, Mitchell32 said:

OK, thanks Gareth...................that's 7 now! 😀

How many? Please confirm as I've lost count. This way we'll get you approved by the end of today.

Ed

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I am getting pre-mod pop ups on Facebook - when posting to my OWN timeline.  The posts appear anyway, guess it is a corrupted app so uninstalled and downloaded a fresh one   Did a screenshot and sent it to the  Facebook report a problem section for what it’s worth...🙄😂

Only happens on one ipad, so guess it is the app.

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21 hours ago, Mitchell32 said:

The current French lockdown could be eased on May 1st, so fingers crossed! There's a number of sources of updated info about France; there are people on this forum who live there, and other online info such as The Connexion.  

I'm not aware of BF offering any special refund options at present, so that will all boil down to what sort of ticket you have. You can cancel your booking if you have a flexi ticket, but will lose your deposit if I remember correctly. BF have recently announced that bookings for 2022 are now available online, but not for all crossings just yet. Check BF ferries update. You could manage your booking online and change your dates to next year, or indeed later this year.

My main concern is about the UK regulations about travelling to France. We're hoping to sail on June 11th (Portsmouth-Caen) then June 27th (Cherbourg-Poole), and will be travelling to Provence. Even IF foreign travel is permitted from the earliest possible date of May 17th, and even IF France is given a green light under the traffic light system,  we will still need to get an official covid test before leaving the UK, and also before leaving France on our return. At present this will cost quite a bit of money. Also, if you have a positive test (under the green light system), you could be required to self isolate at home for 10 days on your return. We're keeping an eye on this, and if the situation isn't clearer by May 10th, we'll be moving our ferry booking to next year. The stress and uncertainty of having to obtain an official covid test in France within 3 days of going home, the bureaucracy of whether or not the results are available as required, and the remote possibility of a positive test, mean we're likely to not bother with our planned trip. We'll only travel if submitting a covid test is not a requirement.

Good luck Mark, keep us posted as to how you get on, and I'll certainly be back with an update of my plans.

MODS I'm still getting a "your content will need to be approved by a moderator" message when I post. Some of my posts have taken days to appear here. Is this meant to be the case?

Yes I agree the cost of the testing is now prohibitive plus the additional stress if the result does not arrive in time - as happened in the case of a contributer recently - and risk of a false positive delaying return...it does not make for a relaxing or affordable holiday. It also begs the question of why bother with the vaccination programme if it is not sufficient.  The testing industry is no doubt highly profitable but I found this comment below on a local PCR test site, which suggests that the vaccination is or should be more persuasive.  I hoped the vaccine progamme would help the travel industry but the testing requirement is a retrogade step.

 

 If I have had my vaccination, will this affect my test result?

If you bring proof of your COVID-19 vaccination to your appointment, we can issue you a negative result in the unlikely event that your test proves inconclusive.

 

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The vaccinations indicate that you are unlikely to catch covid but it isn't guaranteed. The tests should show that you haven't actually got it at the time you travel. So in that sense the tests, if accurate, are a better absolute safeguard. That is the thinking I believe.

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The Vaccinations are to hopefully stop you getting ill, at the moment they don't know if it helps to stop the spread, if it did that would really open things up, the vaccines are to stop the NHS being over whelmed and give them a chance to help the worst cases if we have another wave.  Personally I've no intention of going to France until things improve over there, hopefully by the Autumn, I know it's different for those with houses over there.

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10 hours ago, DucdeNormandie said:

Yes I agree the cost of the testing is now prohibitive

. It also begs the question of why bother with the vaccination programme if it is not sufficient. 

 If I have had my vaccination, will this affect my test result?

If you bring proof of your COVID-19 vaccination to your appointment, we can issue you a negative result in the unlikely event that your test proves inconclusive.

 

Like a lot us with holiday homes in Brittany, when the "Roadmap out of Lockdown" was published in Feb/March, and knowing that both myself and Mrs C would have had our second jab by 17th May I started make some tentative looks at possible itineraries.

I could book (and still could this evening) -. Out on a Friday pm on the PA (with a Club Voyage 4 berth O/S cabin for £5) and back on the PA on a Sunday am with the same cabin deal, for a total of £210.10 for us 2 and the car. But now it would cost us an additional £480 for our Covid tests !!!😞 i.e over twice the cost of the ferry. 

I think that like Solo we will also wait until later in the year when the Vaccination/Testing rules are sorted, ferry timetable permitting of course.

The other comment by the local PCR test site is interesting, but is the free NHS PCR test acceptable for travel? or does it have to be a Lateral Flow test?

 

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Hi Colin you have this the wrong way round. 
 

lateral flow tests are free : these are the ones schools and public services workers have been doing upto three times a week for some time and are now free to the whole population.

 

PCR tests are only available if you have symptoms, and are £140 otherwise at your local private test centre 

 

Unfortunately everywhere I look they seem to want a PCR to travel

 

 

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We have a maison secondaire in Manche which we haven't seen since last August (I just hope we remembered to turn the power off). Lord knows what condition it will be in when we finally manage to get back ..........

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33 minutes ago, dorset dom said:

Hi Colin you have this the wrong way round. 
 

lateral flow tests are free : these are the ones schools and public services workers have been doing upto three times a week for some time and are now free to the whole population.

 

PCR tests are only available if you have symptoms, and are £140 otherwise at your local private test centre 

 

Unfortunately everywhere I look they seem to want a PCR to travel

 

 

Thanks for that. I am sure I am not the only one confused. However it seems to be the £140 test (x4 for our trip) which we will most probably need,  nearly 5 times the cost of our ticket. I am sure that I am not the only one who will be putting our plans on hold.

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1 minute ago, colinschandler said:

Thanks for that. I am sure I am not the only one confused. However it seems to be the £140 test (x4 for our trip) which we will most probably need,  nearly 5 times the cost of our ticket. I am sure that I am not the only one who will be putting our plans on hold.

I fell for Condors advertising of the overseas vacation in Jersey. Booked for a campign trip in June. Unfortunetly whats not mentioned is Jersey will still want you to have at least one PCR test on arrival (and day 5... and day 10) and you have to isolate untio you get the results. Unfortunatley the campsites are now stating they can;t be used for self isolating... I;ve now moved the booking until September, but not holding out hope... :/

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It all seems to be just too early to me. I appreciate that people with holiday homes need to get back to them, (my brother has one in Spain). but the whole international travel situation is in a constant state of flux at the moment and trying to steer some sort of course through the constantly changing rules and regulations is a nightmare whilst the covid infection levels are still precarious on both sides of the Channel. The reports on TV today showing the scrums to get into shops and little or no social distancing in pavement cafes & pubs together with a possible outbreak of the South African variant in London must call into question whether the May 17th deadline for opening up some international travel will slip. I very much suspect that it will. The UK Government will want to see what the effects of yesterday's easing of restrictions are before  making any sort of decision. It is all still a moving feast at the moment.

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13 minutes ago, The Ferry Man said:

Probably to do with the accuracy. the lateral flow tests are not the most accurate...

Depends how you look at it. If you don't have the infection the LFT test is 99.68% accurate. If you do and you have a high viral load the LFT test is 95% accurate.

There's no such thing as PCR testing being a 'gold standard', that's a commercial outlook, the virus and test hasn't been around long enough and no test for any virus is ever accurate.

The false negative results for both are very similar...PCR 2-29% LFT 2-23.2%. Meaning LFT actually performs better.

If there were such concerns with LFT, HMG wouldn't have had NHS staff taking 2 tests per week since November and continuing with the procedure even though today most staff have had both vax injections.

 

 

 

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Well I am in France right now and trying to figure out how to get my test so that I can come back (unfortunately I have to for work). The Doctolib site requires a french telephone number and I gave mine up years ago. Anyway. I used Express test for my outbound at a cost of £80 and they got me the results same day and that was Good Friday too. My return I will use some site I saw that wants £169. for the day 2 and eight test. Now what I want to know is how come (prince?) Harry is getting out after 5 days on the test to release. I thought was not available at this time.

Anyway, everyone over here is getting on with things. I went past the local Church at kicking out time and there were loads of people - far more than usual. I guess the whole lockdown has been good for the Church. 

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15 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

It all seems to be just too early to me. I appreciate that people with holiday homes need to get back to them, (my brother has one in Spain). but the whole international travel situation is in a constant state of flux at the moment and trying to steer some sort of course through the constantly changing rules and regulations is a nightmare whilst the covid infection levels are still precarious on both sides of the Channel. The reports on TV today showing the scrums to get into shops and little or no social distancing in pavement cafes & pubs together with a possible outbreak of the South African variant in London must call into question whether the May 17th deadline for opening up some international travel will slip. I very much suspect that it will. The UK Government will want to see what the effects of yesterday's easing of restrictions are before  making any sort of decision. It is all still a moving feast at the moment.

No one "needs to get back" to a holiday home.

I assume ours is still there, we locked the door in October 2019. The community out there is still in lockdown and quite right too. We have no immediate plans to go out there because in the real world we don't need to go.

I would not wish to place them at risk by going or risk moving the virus back here.

Rhys

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8 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

It all seems to be just too early to me.

Me too sadly. I'd love be booking a ferry and pootling along the Brittany coastline pitching up at the many coastal camp sites and Aires. We doubt we'll be doing it this summer. I want to see more positive numbers first and foremost but alas 40k+ cases in a single day isn't leaving us feeling hopeful.

On the flip side, we did enjoy a fine couple of weeks in Normandy last July visiting the likes of Honfleur, Bayeux etc. All of the shops and their staff were both sensible and responsible in their approach and almost everyone took notice of the rulings. Both BF and DFDS dealt with the obstacles very well.

We're lucky I suppose, having the van does mean that a good deal of self distancing is achievable.

I've had both of my jabs so I'm ready, willing and able to be unleashed on the unsuspecting British public... (or is that released?) We'll be enjoying the Dorset countryside in May.

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10 hours ago, SRN4 said:

I went past the local Church at kicking out time and there were loads of people - far more than usual.

At large number of those who attend mass in France on a Sunday tend to leave the church just after receiving their wafers and without waiting until the final prayers and blessings are said. Any guesses why?

Ed

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Just now, Cabin-boy said:

At large number of those who attend mass in France on a Sunday tend to leave the church just after receiving their wafers and without waiting until the final prayers and blessings are said. Any guesses why?

Ed

ill disciplined?? 😁

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12 hours ago, David Williams said:

I would have thought that BF will soon be announcing May cancellations and probably early June ones as well

Sadly David I thought the same when I was able to make a test booking for PA's second Friday sailing when crossings to Roscoff recommenced in May and there was still almost a full availability of day cabins. I am sure that the testing costs have caused many customers like myself to wait until the Autumn. It is not the  covid risk in France or the need to quarantine that will now cause BF further loss of income but the cost of testing.

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