Nightmare return to the UK at the end of 90 days.

OldAgeTravellers

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This is an account of our nightmare return to the UK at the end of 90 days since the 1st January 2021 - quite long.

An early start on Monday to get to the nearby town laboratory for our COVID tests in France as soon as they started, a simple system and tests done and on our way by 09h30 with the promise that the results would be in our online account after lunch. So without too much risk as we had been isolating as best we could for months but of course a little trepidation in case of a false positive, we set off on our 1,000km journey to the ferry at Dieppe which has to be boarded within 72 hours of the test being done. Just after 2pm the phone pinged to say that something had arrived so we pulled in to the next services to put our minds at rest. Two NEGATIVE results had appeared in our account so pressure is off a bit.

We stopped for the first night in a forest just outside Vierzon which was about two thirds of the journey done, had a meal then the problems started, booking the day 2 & day 8 COVID tests for the UK while we would be quarantining on the drive at our sons house in East Sussex. Steve booked Judy’s first, a bit of a quirky form but it went through ok at £190 so a bit cheaper than Boris’s preferred lot who charge an amazing £210. Steve then immediately then did his own and payment was declined. Perhaps they don’t allow two tests on the same card so tried Steve’s card and that was declined so went through all our cards with different banks and all were declined. The security certificate was fine so had Boris allowed some scam merchants access to this system? Very worrying. Panic mode now setting in and now past midnight so decided to leave it till the morning. Not a good nights sleep obviously.

In the morning tried again and cards were again declined. Perhaps the internet is not strong enough. Although the router was showing 4 bars so motored on till about lunchtime when we found a Brico Depot and in their car park were getting a full 5 bars and 60 mbs download and upload from the 4G router. Steve had spent a lot of time researching setting up and testing home quality internet and phone in the Motorhome just to ensure that all this could be done on route. Tried phoning the company via the router to find out what was going wrong because a WhatsApp support message sent the previous evening had not been answered. Just a “mailbox full” message on the phone so Customer Service was zero, what a shower. Now in total panic as there is a 48 hour time limit for booking these tests. Phoned the bank and they said there was no problem with our cards and no requests for payment had been made other than the first which was Judy’s. So phoned Our son via WhatsApp and asked him to try with his card, he got declined as well so it must be the testing company with a cobbled together Mickey Mouse website. So tried a different company and cards were declined again. Then another company and this time it came back as “processing error submit again later” message, which was better than the others and just needed the button pressed again rather than filling out the whole form. Finally after about ten tries suddenly a green tick appeared with a successful message. Phew, total meltdown started easing so another cup of coffee to relax before heading on. What was this morning plenty of time, now was getting short and we now ran into rush-hour jams in Rouen which delayed us quite a bit more. Bearing in mind that we had to travel through two RED departments where we were not legally allowed to stop! We finally made it to Auchan Supermarket in Dieppe at 6pm with just time to fill with gas and diesel while keeping a distance from others and wearing a double mask and gloves. Then drive to where we hoped to park for the night which Steve had found on a Motorhome parking app, beside a cemetery about 5 km from the port. We arrived at 3 minutes to 7pm which is curfew time and the place seemed good to stay the night.

The stress and hard driving had taken its toll on Steve and the chronic Sciatica he was suffering from did not now allow him to sleep laying down, so he spent most of the night sat up in the driving seat.

The ferry was at 11am so we arrived early and were first in the que. The check-in was easy with just a check of the COVID tests from yesterday morning on the iPad which we had put into a plastic bag and an additional “on our honour” form to declare that we had not met up with anybody in recent days or en-route where we could have contracted the virus. The Duane however were a nightmare,not distancing or wearing masks properly and making us stand outside while one searched the van unsupervised. Then she wanted to go through Judy’s handbag checking for cash and touching everything with total disregard then she checked Steve’s wallet totally obsessed that we must have more cash as we’re only allowed to export less than 10,000 euros! Steve had €50. And she was only wearing cotton working gloves which she could have been touching anything with, not good practice at all.

Finally on to the ferry and a four hour cruise on a millpond sea. Then on to our sons house where we are now all set up for our ten day quarantine in the Motorhome and thankfully Judy’s kit has actually arrived with both tests and Steve has received an email that his will arrive tomorrow by DHL. So thank you Boris for setting up such a pathetic system to punish British Citizens who have been legally in a foreign country shielding from the virus. Not everybody is as tech savvy as Steve or have the internet on the move that he has set up. It is totally unfair to create such stress with ill thought-out laws and systems covered by the threats of heavy fines and to charge £200 for tests which they are scattering about like confetti to school kids for free. For UK citizens to return to their homeland after they have been legally abroad.
Very, very wrong.
steve
 
OP
OldAgeTravellers

OldAgeTravellers

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The £200 test should be a PCR test, normally around £150 and more thorough than the lateral flow test they give school children.
If they fail the lateral flow they get the PCR again for free. France does them for free even if not in their health system. Smells of jobs for the boys.

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Northernraider

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This is an account of our nightmare return to the UK at the end of 90 days since the 1st January 2021 - quite long.

An early start on Monday to get to the nearby town laboratory for our COVID tests in France as soon as they started, a simple system and tests done and on our way by 09h30 with the promise that the results would be in our online account after lunch. So without too much risk as we had been isolating as best we could for months but of course a little trepidation in case of a false positive, we set off on our 1,000km journey to the ferry at Dieppe which has to be boarded within 72 hours of the test being done. Just after 2pm the phone pinged to say that something had arrived so we pulled in to the next services to put our minds at rest. Two NEGATIVE results had appeared in our account so pressure is off a bit.

We stopped for the first night in a forest just outside Vierzon which was about two thirds of the journey done, had a meal then the problems started, booking the day 2 & day 8 COVID tests for the UK while we would be quarantining on the drive at our sons house in East Sussex. Steve booked Judy’s first, a bit of a quirky form but it went through ok at £190 so a bit cheaper than Boris’s preferred lot who charge an amazing £210. Steve then immediately then did his own and payment was declined. Perhaps they don’t allow two tests on the same card so tried Steve’s card and that was declined so went through all our cards with different banks and all were declined. The security certificate was fine so had Boris allowed some scam merchants access to this system? Very worrying. Panic mode now setting in and now past midnight so decided to leave it till the morning. Not a good nights sleep obviously.

In the morning tried again and cards were again declined. Perhaps the internet is not strong enough. Although the router was showing 4 bars so motored on till about lunchtime when we found a Brico Depot and in their car park were getting a full 5 bars and 60 mbs download and upload from the 4G router. Steve had spent a lot of time researching setting up and testing home quality internet and phone in the Motorhome just to ensure that all this could be done on route. Tried phoning the company via the router to find out what was going wrong because a WhatsApp support message sent the previous evening had not been answered. Just a “mailbox full” message on the phone so Customer Service was zero, what a shower. Now in total panic as there is a 48 hour time limit for booking these tests. Phoned the bank and they said there was no problem with our cards and no requests for payment had been made other than the first which was Judy’s. So phoned Our son via WhatsApp and asked him to try with his card, he got declined as well so it must be the testing company with a cobbled together Mickey Mouse website. So tried a different company and cards were declined again. Then another company and this time it came back as “processing error submit again later” message, which was better than the others and just needed the button pressed again rather than filling out the whole form. Finally after about ten tries suddenly a green tick appeared with a successful message. Phew, total meltdown started easing so another cup of coffee to relax before heading on. What was this morning plenty of time, now was getting short and we now ran into rush-hour jams in Rouen which delayed us quite a bit more. Bearing in mind that we had to travel through two RED departments where we were not legally allowed to stop! We finally made it to Auchan Supermarket in Dieppe at 6pm with just time to fill with gas and diesel while keeping a distance from others and wearing a double mask and gloves. Then drive to where we hoped to park for the night which Steve had found on a Motorhome parking app, beside a cemetery about 5 km from the port. We arrived at 3 minutes to 7pm which is curfew time and the place seemed good to stay the night.

The stress and hard driving had taken its toll on Steve and the chronic Sciatica he was suffering from did not now allow him to sleep laying down, so he spent most of the night sat up in the driving seat.

The ferry was at 11am so we arrived early and were first in the que. The check-in was easy with just a check of the COVID tests from yesterday morning on the iPad which we had put into a plastic bag and an additional “on our honour” form to declare that we had not met up with anybody in recent days or en-route where we could have contracted the virus. The Duane however were a nightmare,not distancing or wearing masks properly and making us stand outside while one searched the van unsupervised. Then she wanted to go through Judy’s handbag checking for cash and touching everything with total disregard then she checked Steve’s wallet totally obsessed that we must have more cash as we’re only allowed to export less than 10,000 euros! Steve had €50. And she was only wearing cotton working gloves which she could have been touching anything with, not good practice at all.

Finally on to the ferry and a four hour cruise on a millpond sea. Then on to our sons house where we are now all set up for our ten day quarantine in the Motorhome and thankfully Judy’s kit has actually arrived with both tests and Steve has received an email that his will arrive tomorrow by DHL. So thank you Boris for setting up such a pathetic system to punish British Citizens who have been legally in a foreign country shielding from the virus. Not everybody is as tech savvy as Steve or have the internet on the move that he has set up. It is totally unfair to create such stress with ill thought-out laws and systems covered by the threats of heavy fines and to charge £200 for tests which they are scattering about like confetti to school kids for free. For UK citizens to return to their homeland after they have been legally abroad.
Very, very wrong.
steve
The fun is still to come wait for the phone calls texts and threatening emails should you not answer the first call tgst incidentally will come up as suspected spam on your phone.

I did my day 2 test on sunday and as yet i have heard nothing back from testing company.

I saw some of the 20 or so options for testing companies charging £350

I could have got nhs testing kits free from my sister as she has to test regular at work and has a stack of them but not allowed to supply your own

And you are testing yourself where ill guarantee you dont reach the places the qualified nurses etc get to .

Piece of nonsense ...

Youll likely have seen the same as i did at calais with lorry drivers etc excempt from testing but wearing no masks and not social distancing.

Im just grateful i wasn't pushed in to the ridiculous priced hotel quarantine that you could get a 5 star hotel for the price of.
 
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OldAgeTravellers

OldAgeTravellers

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A right pain but at least you are back, just in time they are talking about putting France on the Red list.
Yes thanks Lenny, after what Northernraider had just said, we have lousy mobile reception here so probably will not receive the call or text then get a visit from the police just to top it all off. Better not break the rules.
At least I can fit the phone antenna while here if I can find anybody with it in stock. :giggle:

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Northernraider

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Yes thanks Lenny, after what Northernraider had just said, we have lousy mobile reception here so probably will not receive the call or text then get a visit from the police just to top it all off. Better not break the rules.
At least I can fit the phone antenna while here if I can find anybody with it in stock. :giggle:
Ive had bad luck with that too lol i had a list of jobs to do to keep me busy , nee exhaust and brakes ordered for the car even had them arrive here before i got home....they sent the wrong ones🤦‍♂️
 
Jul 15, 2020
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We have extended our extended stay. Praying that we will be taken off the red list., but not holding up much hope.
I so so don't want to UK hotel prison isolate.
Never before has Rip Off Britain been so obvious, especially on the testing. Fully agree it should be done, but the costs are bonkers compared to other country's. And why does it need to be so dammed difficult.

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jumar

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The Fun of travelling in Europe during a Pandemic, I imagine more tales will emerge around March 31st onwards....the most important factor to the tale is nobody in the party got sick, lot of messing about, but got back safely....90 days in the UK and you can do it all again...thats if the travel ban is lifted....should be for summer holidays..
 
Feb 18, 2018
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The Fun of travelling in Europe during a Pandemic, I imagine more tales will emerge around March 31st onwards....the most important factor to the tale is nobody in the party got sick, lot of messing about, but got back safely....90 days in the UK and you can do it all again...thats if the travel ban is lifted....should be for summer holidays..
I wouldn’t hold your breathe ... not the uk travel ban. My guess is that will be lifted AFTER the uk school holidays.

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Nov 9, 2019
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I am following in your footsteps, tested in France yesterday, Day 2 & 8 tests purchased, and hoping for a bette experience.

With regards to the Rip Off Britain comment, in UK you can get two PCR tests delivered by courier and two prepaid postage/package labels to return the tests, typically for £190, say £95 each. That compares to €58 (say £50) each that we were quoted in France (before it decided to give them free to anyone). Despite being virtually half the UK price, the test in France would be undertaken by a physician at a private laboratory. Go figure...
 

Armytwowheels

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This is an account of our nightmare return to the UK at the end of 90 days since the 1st January 2021 - quite long.

An early start on Monday to get to the nearby town laboratory for our COVID tests in France as soon as they started, a simple system and tests done and on our way by 09h30 with the promise that the results would be in our online account after lunch. So without too much risk as we had been isolating as best we could for months but of course a little trepidation in case of a false positive, we set off on our 1,000km journey to the ferry at Dieppe which has to be boarded within 72 hours of the test being done. Just after 2pm the phone pinged to say that something had arrived so we pulled in to the next services to put our minds at rest. Two NEGATIVE results had appeared in our account so pressure is off a bit.

We stopped for the first night in a forest just outside Vierzon which was about two thirds of the journey done, had a meal then the problems started, booking the day 2 & day 8 COVID tests for the UK while we would be quarantining on the drive at our sons house in East Sussex. Steve booked Judy’s first, a bit of a quirky form but it went through ok at £190 so a bit cheaper than Boris’s preferred lot who charge an amazing £210. Steve then immediately then did his own and payment was declined. Perhaps they don’t allow two tests on the same card so tried Steve’s card and that was declined so went through all our cards with different banks and all were declined. The security certificate was fine so had Boris allowed some scam merchants access to this system? Very worrying. Panic mode now setting in and now past midnight so decided to leave it till the morning. Not a good nights sleep obviously.

In the morning tried again and cards were again declined. Perhaps the internet is not strong enough. Although the router was showing 4 bars so motored on till about lunchtime when we found a Brico Depot and in their car park were getting a full 5 bars and 60 mbs download and upload from the 4G router. Steve had spent a lot of time researching setting up and testing home quality internet and phone in the Motorhome just to ensure that all this could be done on route. Tried phoning the company via the router to find out what was going wrong because a WhatsApp support message sent the previous evening had not been answered. Just a “mailbox full” message on the phone so Customer Service was zero, what a shower. Now in total panic as there is a 48 hour time limit for booking these tests. Phoned the bank and they said there was no problem with our cards and no requests for payment had been made other than the first which was Judy’s. So phoned Our son via WhatsApp and asked him to try with his card, he got declined as well so it must be the testing company with a cobbled together Mickey Mouse website. So tried a different company and cards were declined again. Then another company and this time it came back as “processing error submit again later” message, which was better than the others and just needed the button pressed again rather than filling out the whole form. Finally after about ten tries suddenly a green tick appeared with a successful message. Phew, total meltdown started easing so another cup of coffee to relax before heading on. What was this morning plenty of time, now was getting short and we now ran into rush-hour jams in Rouen which delayed us quite a bit more. Bearing in mind that we had to travel through two RED departments where we were not legally allowed to stop! We finally made it to Auchan Supermarket in Dieppe at 6pm with just time to fill with gas and diesel while keeping a distance from others and wearing a double mask and gloves. Then drive to where we hoped to park for the night which Steve had found on a Motorhome parking app, beside a cemetery about 5 km from the port. We arrived at 3 minutes to 7pm which is curfew time and the place seemed good to stay the night.

The stress and hard driving had taken its toll on Steve and the chronic Sciatica he was suffering from did not now allow him to sleep laying down, so he spent most of the night sat up in the driving seat.

The ferry was at 11am so we arrived early and were first in the que. The check-in was easy with just a check of the COVID tests from yesterday morning on the iPad which we had put into a plastic bag and an additional “on our honour” form to declare that we had not met up with anybody in recent days or en-route where we could have contracted the virus. The Duane however were a nightmare,not distancing or wearing masks properly and making us stand outside while one searched the van unsupervised. Then she wanted to go through Judy’s handbag checking for cash and touching everything with total disregard then she checked Steve’s wallet totally obsessed that we must have more cash as we’re only allowed to export less than 10,000 euros! Steve had €50. And she was only wearing cotton working gloves which she could have been touching anything with, not good practice at all.

Finally on to the ferry and a four hour cruise on a millpond sea. Then on to our sons house where we are now all set up for our ten day quarantine in the Motorhome and thankfully Judy’s kit has actually arrived with both tests and Steve has received an email that his will arrive tomorrow by DHL. So thank you Boris for setting up such a pathetic system to punish British Citizens who have been legally in a foreign country shielding from the virus. Not everybody is as tech savvy as Steve or have the internet on the move that he has set up. It is totally unfair to create such stress with ill thought-out laws and systems covered by the threats of heavy fines and to charge £200 for tests which they are scattering about like confetti to school kids for free. For UK citizens to return to their homeland after they have been legally abroad.
Very, very wrong.
steve
Believe me, I feel your pain. Our experience with the test kit supplier was similar.

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Feb 20, 2017
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With regards to the Rip Off Britain comment, in UK you can get two PCR tests delivered by courier and two prepaid postage/package labels to return the tests, typically for £190, say £95 each. That compares to €58 (say £50) each that we were quoted in France (before it decided to give them free to anyone). Despite being virtually half the UK price, the test in France would be undertaken by a physician at a private laboratory. Go figure...
I was up at Guy's Hospital yesterday with the wife for her Radiotherapy and they were doing walk in no symptoms Covid tests for free.

What a rip off!
 
Jan 1, 2014
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Having read and listen to many similar stories one thing comes through loud and clear, put succinctly by a friend now living abroad" Don't forget it's a Smash and Grab" administration you have not much time to coin it in for themselves or their friends.
Harsh but clear

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Jul 5, 2020
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The Government cant win really can they..If they let people return without testing they are irresponsible,,,if they demand a test they are The Gestapo,,,What a job to have eh,,BUSBY.
Poor Boris....... he's only trying to keep the country safe against the odds of our ex-friends trying to take our Jabs and not even injecting their own population, and this country not being able to see the sense of staying not even at home, but in this country and isolating !!!!!!! I am desperate to get away and have been for months.... lets just wait a bit longer and try to keep our country safe. :cautious::cautious:
 
Oct 3, 2020
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Have I missed something?
some people came back from somewhere and got irritated.
seems that way. I'm sure the fun while others have been home and stuck made it all worth it for the op. thankfully these tests and requirements are in place or we would never get away from this situation with all the strains being bought into the uk. We need to do more to protect the countries hard work the past year.
 
Aug 20, 2019
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Congratulations on getting back OK. Got to say it doesn't sound like that much of a nightmare really compared to all the things that could go wrong. There's multiple different test providers to try purchasing from now so if anyone else experiences that problem I'd just try a different provider straight away and you have until minutes before checkin to purchase.

We paid £175 each for our test package and got a free antigen test in Calais the morning of travel. Results, straight away.

On the train now, a day early as we left some wriggle room but decided £48 extra was worth getting home a day early and out of quarantine for Easter Monday 😊

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