Bonjour! We are in Paris!
Thanks to all of you who reached out to ask if we actually made it and if we were EVER going to update the blog! We had a busy week of packing and COVID tests, followed by jet lag and setting up our new temporary home. But don’t worry – we have lots of stories to tell!
But first, a lot of you have asked how it has been traveling during COVID times. Admittedly, it was pretty complicated to figure out all the requirements. I did a lot of research and found that the US Embassy website for France (and other countries) was the most helpful.
For France, we had to complete 3 forms – 2 that we carried with us and one that was completed online (the EU Digital Passenger Locator Form). We also needed a COVID test taken within 48 hours of departure. That was tricky because we needed the results back before we flew so we needed a very quick turnaround that most pharmacies could not guarantee. We discovered Same Day Health in the Annapolis Mall, which will do one-hour results for $250 (also will do 24-hours if you have more time for $175). We opted for the one-hour, even though expensive, because we didn’t want to wait until the morning of our flight to find out if we could go. We were nervous enough. It was a fast, easy experience. *We have heard that this requirement was scrapped the day after we arrived – so no test is needed now. If you are going, I would verify on the US Embassy website.
AirFrance gives you the option of uploading your results and all of your forms, so they can clear you to fly before you go to the airport, saving time in line. We did this and got our “Ready2Fly” status while in the taxi on the way. They print it on our tickets so we sailed through all the lines – notice it at the top.
We had no problems flying, but were reminded to wear our masks except when eating. Service was more scaled back than usual, but still nice. We did notice that there were significantly less passengers and crew. The best was that there were only 6 people in front of us in line at Charles de Gaulle airport passport control. I have flown through CDG at least a dozen times and NEVER seen that before!
On the ground in Paris, no test was required. Everyone wears masks inside and about a third wear a mask outside. About half the places we have gone require us to show our CDC vaccine card (we have not needed to obtain a Passe Sanitaire – the French official pass – everyone so far has accepted our CDC cards). Many restaurants are strict on masks – they don’t require at the table, but if you go to the restroom they will point at you to put on your mask (which we think is a good idea, too).
A tour of our apartment and more stories to come. But to give you an idea – here is our view!
And guess whose birthday we just celebrated?!