I've been watching the thread started by She57 with interest

09/03/2021 - 06:09

I've been watching the thread started by She57 with interest because we're getting ready to drive back to Italy in the next couple of weeks and I think! we know what we need to do.

Plan is to download the NHS App + take paper NHS letter, download the Italian VerificaC19 app, complete the EU Digital Passenger Locater form.

Journey would be Eurotunnel across to France, drive across France to Nancy and take the Covid test there.  Continue through France to the Mont Blanc tunnel then into Italy.

So I think we'll be paying more in French tolls but we keep the countries travelled to only France and Italy.

Have I missed anything that I need to do?




Where in Nancy are you getting the test?

Also, why avoid Switzerland?


Good luck with the trip - let us know how you get on. 

Hi Alan  new plans emerging. Original idea was to keep number of countries low so no hitting lots of different restrictions  Now starting to think of overnight stay before the Tunnel, straight across France to Nancy, test in pharmacy then overnight stay. Leave early next morning for long drive to house via Switzerland.

Most likely a pharmacy in the centre of Nancy, they're open til 7pm so so should be possible.

Let us know how you get on with the testing in Nancy, (or wherever you get it done) please. 

If you could give details of the test centre you do use, that would be great - We hope to travel down later this year to see if our place is still in one piece 

We'll need testing both ways, so any info you can give on what actually happens would be most useful.

Good luck with the trip

Hi Alan Now thinking of mid-day eurotunnel to Calais, drive to Nancy, take test in pharmacy, drive on to somewhere like Colmar (so couple more hours down the road).  Stay overnight in Colmar then long drive to house (arriving before nightfall).

There seems to be mutterings (might remain just as mutterings) about changing the test requirements for re-entry to the UK which would make things easier.

From the info She57 posted about getting tested in Bologna and from another visitor I know who took the test in Padova taking the test to come home seems fairly straightforward, not too expensive and easy to access.  Fingers crossed that it remains so when the time comes!


Another option for the Covid test required to enter the U.K. upon return, is to buy one of the self test kits before you set off from the U.K. e.g. see above link.  
My daughter did this recently and it worked really well. The prices seem to be low too. We will do this next time as we had to queue for an hour at Bologna station this morning for our tests - we are returning to U.K. tomorrow. 


Eurotunnel to Nancy is roughly 8 hours travelling.  With a midday eurotunnel, I'd be surprised if you get to Nancy much before 9.30 at night, so getting the test would be difficult, let alone going on to Colmar.


My "plan" at present is midday crossing and overnight in Bapaume - Hotel de la Paix is very good.  Will get test next day in Bapaume, at a pharmacy, and will probably stay a second night - just to allow plenty of time to sort out the testing process. We will probably ask the hotel, when booking, for their help in identifying a suitable pharmacy.

(We would also stop overnight at Bapaume on the way back   but knowing the process, it will only be I night, with a test in the following morning)

Ideally, we'd like the next stop to be in Switzerland - nice hotel in Beckenreid, and the a short hop to the house, (hopefully its still standing, but will stay in a local hotel for a couple of nights while we get it 'fettled')

However, Beckenreid is probably too far,  so possibly stay in Mulhouse instead.

On the way back, we will stop near Colmar, nice hotel in Biesheim, then back to Bapaume 

Obviously we'll be wanting to have the Antigen test  (lateral flow) rather than the PCR, as the results, and paperwork, should be available in about 30 minutes. 

I have just returned from a trip to Italy. A couple of points that maybe of interest. 

Local pharmacies in Italy are offering covid test with certificate issued immediately at a cost if 15 eur. 

Re the green pass it was a bit hit and miss sometimes the scan worked but more often it didn't at which point we were waived through to our table. If you have enough official NHS papers barcodes etc ii has been okay. 

Day 2 test on return cost us 43gbp each, mailed to home address. 

The biggest change is the time it takes to clear customs etc on your return. They now have a lot more forms to check and there is lots of people in front fumbling in car boots or trying to power up tablets etc. Leave longer if you must make your crossing time (yes I did miss our boat. 2. 30 hr wait. 

Was all worth the hassle the stress quickly disappears after a couple of spritz aperol


Hi I've seen there's a requirement to contact the local Covid Helpline on arrival in Italy.

To the people who have already travelled to Italy, do they simply record your name and address in Italy?  Do they ask for any other details?

"Everyone arriving in Italy must also call the COVID-19 helpline for the region you are travelling within 48 hours of arrival, to inform them of your visit".


Thanks Clueless.  I wonder if the requirement to let the Town Hall (or some other body) know when we have arrived in Italt will continue after the Covid requirements have gone.

We're going in a couple of weeks to but flying and hiring a car.

Although technically we don't need a 1968 international driving permit the car hire company require one.

Might be worth adding to your documents - I think they're £5 from the Post Office 

J x

Well we rejigged our plans, made the long drive and we're here in sunny 33° Italy.

At Eurotunnel French passport control date-stamped the passports and asked if we were double vaccinated, we said yes and that was that part done.

Checked into a Strasbourg hotel, needed to wear a mask but no other questions or requirements.

Went into Colmar centre to take a Covid test. I've attached a photo of the pharmacy we used - actually can't attach a photo, don't know why. 

Pharmacy was Pharmacie San Nicolas in the centre, close to the town hall.

€25 each, antigen test, 20 mins or so, results given on paper copy and email.

Bought the Swiss vignette, no other questions asked there.

At the Italian border point at Chiasso we were simply waved through.

Did you pre-book the test in Colmar? 

It's a possibility for us when (hopefully soon) we go to our place on Mottarone as we will (unless things change) need a test to get back into the UK.  We stay overnight near Colmar,  in Biesheim, so Colmar testing could be convenient.

On the way to Italy we are considering getting our tests in Switzerland,  at Brissago, just before the border on the West shore of Lake Maggiore.   Its more expensive, CH47, but we'll be able to wander lakeside whilst waiting for the results.

No we didn't pre-book bcos we thought/knew that the larger towns would have instant tests and it turned out to be so.

We were told that the Pharmacie San Nicolas in the centre of Colmar did Covid tests and it worked out well.

No booking needed and opening times were approx 8.30am - 7/8.00pm week days and some hrs on a Saturday (not sure of times).

The info we provided them with was name, address, DOB, phone number, email address.

The Covid testing is actually carried out in a small wooden hut right outside the pharmacy and just so you know only involved one nostril being swabbed!  (Better than throat and nostrils!) 

It's been quite a few years since we've been in Colmar. It was good to see it again and I think we'll start taking longer with our journeys so we can see more of these places.

We'll be here for a few weeks so I'm not going to be checking the testing requirements for returning to the UK until closer to then because I do think there will be changes in what we need to do.