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Crossing borders this winter

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,

I know I know....not another thread.....I'm sick of them myself. But a lot of discussion on here has been more about whether to travel/will you ski/CV19 morals etc etc.

I haven't seen much talk about the actual practical side of crossing borders this winter or any discussion there has been has been lost in all the other chat.

So....(brexit aside)....driving down, minimal stops on route and private accommodation must be the safest way of doing a trip this year (if even that remains possible).

I know there is testing and various checks at airports etc.

But if I say, drive into France via the tunnel when we disembark the train will there (or is there already) checks or is still head out onto the open road? I see there is a requirement to provide a "déclaration sur l’honneur". I assume this would be provided on the UK side at the French border control.
And then it's business as normal (as much as it can be).

So say, we head into Italy? As far as I'm aware you then have to provide a negative test (72 hours prior) upon entry. So have they set up check points on the roads at the border?

Has anyone experienced the above yet? Be it into France, Italy, Spain, Andorra, Austria, Switzerland?

Realistically, if they aren't doing checks on the roads at the borders how would anyone know if someone drives into Italy via France from the UK, stays in a private apartment or house etc?

And what is the score with cross-border resorts? Via Lattea, PdS, Zermatt/Cervinia to name a few. Will links be closed say from Swiss side of PdS into the French side or are there going to be checks?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think the EU is trying to finalise a schengen/eea wide approach today in fact.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Yes I just saw that pop up after I had posted.

But will that address the actual happenings on the "ground level?". I don't see how things can be enforced unless they are putting checkpoints on every road crossing between countries?
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@Fridge03, currently there are random tests conducted on the German borders and I think more stringent testing at airports for people arriving from high risk countries. But ultimately it relies on people doing the right thing. Do you really want to be responsible for spreading a potentially fatal virus? It depends on one's conscience.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
queenie pretty please wrote:
@Fridge03, currently there are random tests conducted on the German borders and I think more stringent testing at airports for people arriving from high risk countries. But ultimately it relies on people doing the right thing. Do you really want to be responsible for spreading a potentially fatal virus? It depends on one's conscience.


I wasn't implying that we would flout any rules.

Just that at the moment, I can't see anything about the practicalities of crossing a border except "what you are meant to do". It must surely be almost unenforceable and as you say "reliant on common sense and people following rules" in it's current format.

I'll be interested to hear of anyone who has crossed from France into Austria/Italy/Spain/Andorra recently? What did they experience?
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We drove UK to France to Spain a couple of weeks ago. UK to France, no paperwork or formalities at all. To enter Spain if you fly or go by ferry direct you have to submit paperwork for tracing, but driving nothing required at all, just drove through an almost invisible border. I did confirm with the Spanish ministry before we went, and thier paperwork is just so they can trace passengers if an outbreak is traced to a particular flight.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Fridge03, I have come through Munich airport recently. There were no specific checks. The various regulations are being organised locally (they vary from area to area), if you have come from a "high risk" region (Germany and a number of other countries have regional warnings not country ones, the EU wide system will I believe be the same) you need to report to your local health office when you get to your destination and either show a negative test or quarantine until you have one. This seems to largely be based on folk keeping to the rules though there is a form to fill in before you travel.

Last time I cam back into Germany from Austria (might have changed but I haven't heard so) there were no checks either way, again it is based on people doing as they are supposed to, people on visits less than 48 hours (primarily commuters but also shopping etc) are not affected.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
well, you cant from england to wales now Laughing
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munich_irish wrote:
@Fridge03, I have come through Munich airport recently. There were no specific checks. The various regulations are being organised locally (they vary from area to area), if you have come from a "high risk" region (Germany and a number of other countries have regional warnings not country ones, the EU wide system will I believe be the same) you need to report to your local health office when you get to your destination and either show a negative test or quarantine until you have one. This seems to largely be based on folk keeping to the rules though there is a form to fill in before you travel.

Last time I cam back into Germany from Austria (might have changed but I haven't heard so) there were no checks either way, again it is based on people doing as they are supposed to, people on visits less than 48 hours (primarily commuters but also shopping etc) are not affected.


RobinS wrote:
We drove UK to France to Spain a couple of weeks ago. UK to France, no paperwork or formalities at all. To enter Spain if you fly or go by ferry direct you have to submit paperwork for tracing, but driving nothing required at all, just drove through an almost invisible border. I did confirm with the Spanish ministry before we went, and thier paperwork is just so they can trace passengers if an outbreak is traced to a particular flight.


Well this is what I mean. Flights or ferries. A lot "easier" to track and trace who comes and goes. Carry out checks at airports/terminals etc.

But driving? Hop over the border. Job done.
Get flagged up in resort? "yes officer, I was visiting friends/family in country prior to coming here for 14 days"

And in regards to the shared ski areas, has anyone heard anything from PdS, Via Lattea etc about crossing over on a daily basis on skis?
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Mr.Egg wrote:
well, you cant from england to wales now Laughing


I've been campaigning for a wall for years Very Happy
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@Fridge03 To answer one of your questions re the mechanics of border crossings, this summer, for each person travelling, we each completed and printed-out

● Outbound French Déclaration sur l'honneur
● Outbound French Attestation de deplacement
● Return French Déclaration sur l'honneur
● Return French Attestation de deplacement

before we travelled out on Eurotunnel via France to Switzerland direct in one day. 4 in all, because these two documents are specific to each person, and specific to the dates of travel, plus the boxes you check are different outbound ([X] in transit to another country) versus return ([X] in transit to your Primary Residence). I downloaded these from the French Embassy in the UK website, which had them in both English and French. Just to show willing, I completed the French versions. Although I did edit them to feminise the grammar for my wife (e.g. «je soussignée» versus my «je soussigné» etc.) - I thought that I might as well do it properly. And the day before we drove back home:

● Return British Covid Public Health Passenger Location Form

Which was only completable on-line and a day or two before travel. This generated a PDF 3-page paper form including a Q-Code, which was sent attached to an email to me. Unfortunately, the PDF didn't render properly on my iPhone. I had to re-send the attachment to another email address and then re-re-send it to another email address before it would render properly. Really, it's designed to be printed on paper. This could only be completed just before the date of travel i.e. you can't generate the documentation before you leave the UK.

We didn't have to show any of the above documentation to any of the Border personnel at Eurotunnel Ashford (GB>F), Creux (F>CH) outbound, or Creux (CH>F) or Eurotunnel Coquelles (F>GB) return. At Eurotunnel Calais, UK Immigration asked where we'd been, and when we said "Switzerland", asked if we'd completed the PHPL form, and we said we had. That was it - we didn't have to show the Q-code.

We also downloaded the French STOPcovid and Swiss SwissCovid apps before we left and then enabled and disabled them on entering/leaving F and CH.

As you've probably concluded, I'm pretty anal about completing the correct documentation. I made it harder for myself by using the French language version of the French Interior Ministry forms, but my thinking was that a border/immigration guard in France/CH is going to find it easier to scan the French version. And perhaps I overdid it correcting the forms to be feminine, but this is a Big Deal in French-speaking Switzerland (they've just had a Referendum about it which rejected defaulting forms to masculine only), although it might be taken as an insult, I suppose. But at least I could do all this and print off the paper version at leisure at home. I left the return dates blank in case we came back earlier/later. The real annoyance was the UK Covid form inasmuch as (1) it has to be done on-line, ideally on a browser, (2) you can't complete it more than a day or two before you travel (3) You can't just leave the date blank and (4) you can't print off an uncompleted form just in case. And after all that effort, of course, no one actually asked us for any of them.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
LaForet wrote:
@Fridge03 To answer one of your questions re the mechanics of border crossings, this summer, for each person travelling, we each completed and printed-out

● Outbound French Déclaration sur l'honneur
● Outbound French Attestation de deplacement
● Return French Déclaration sur l'honneur
● Return French Attestation de deplacement

before we travelled out on Eurotunnel via France to Switzerland direct in one day. 4 in all, because these two documents are specific to each person, and specific to the dates of travel, plus the boxes you check are different outbound ([X] in transit to another country) versus return ([X] in transit to your Primary Residence). I downloaded these from the French Embassy in the UK website, which had them in both English and French. Just to show willing, I completed the French versions. Although I did edit them to feminise the grammar for my wife (e.g. «je soussignée» versus my «je soussigné» etc.) - I thought that I might as well do it properly. And the day before we drove back home:

● Return British Covid Public Health Passenger Location Form

Which was only completable on-line and a day or two before travel. This generated a PDF 3-page paper form including a Q-Code, which was sent attached to an email to me. Unfortunately, the PDF didn't render properly on my iPhone. I had to re-send the attachment to another email address and then re-re-send it to another email address before it would render properly. Really, it's designed to be printed on paper. This could only be completed just before the date of travel i.e. you can't generate the documentation before you leave the UK.

We didn't have to show any of the above documentation to any of the Border personnel at Eurotunnel Ashford (GB>F), Creux (F>CH) outbound, or Creux (CH>F) or Eurotunnel Coquelles (F>GB) return. At Eurotunnel Calais, UK Immigration asked where we'd been, and when we said "Switzerland", asked if we'd completed the PHPL form, and we said we had. That was it - we didn't have to show the Q-code.

We also downloaded the French STOPcovid and Swiss SwissCovid apps before we left and then enabled and disabled them on entering/leaving F and CH.


Useful info. Thanks for the post LaForet.

Interesting that you did all that as required. And weren't asked to produce it once.

I appreciate that we are now in a different situation as to the summer but still.....
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I think it'll be important this winter that if you are in a non-family group e.g. Boys' Trip, you make absolutely sure everyone has got all their documentation done beforehand: another task for the trip organiser. In my experience, there will always be someone who'll be blasé about it and not bother, or not check they can actually display their forms/Qcodes on their mobile. Or not have the mobile charged-up when they need to show it.

So perhaps it's worth stating a rule if you're a trip organiser: 'If you haven't got the documentation needed when asked, then we're just going to leave you behind to deal with it - it'll be your problem, not ours, OK?'

And remember the BA computer fiasco? A couple of years ago the BA systems went down for a day and they couldn't scan mobile tickets. The only Boarding Passes the airports would accept were the paper ones. Cue payback time on my friend who always used to make a joke of my printing off a Boarding Pass 'just in case'. "You're a dinosaur." he'd say - to which my reply was "No, after working 40 years in IT, I'm simply a pessimist."
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I give it a couple of weeks into Jan before truck drivers block the ports due to being left in massive jams for days without facilities, in the middle of winter.
Covid has hammered prep work for a smooth transition.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Frosty the Snowman, And French fishermen will be blockading Calais as well.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
Covid has hammered prep work for a smooth transition.


I think Covid is a useful scapegoat there...

Anyway, I have driven to Andorra several times. Remember they are not in the EU and have active border posts which you drive through. I think I've been waved to the side for inspection 2-3 times out of, er, 8-10. It seems to be partly based on the car number plate, so they can't be bothered with the usual French and Spanish as there are thousands per day, but someone else risks attracting attention (my number plate is Portuguese diplomatic, which is totally different from normal and doesn't even hint at being Portuguese).

So if you drive in with a British number plate, you might - might - be stopped on that basis. If you drive in with a Spanish or French hire car you might - might - not.

The way things are going I suspect the answer will depend on what has been happening in and between the countries in the preceding 7 days.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'll be happy if they just let us into the Glens and hills of Scotland. Which is not altogether certain, I fear.
Actually, even Northumberland into Cumbria into County Durham and back (which is pretty much any local bike ride or walk for me) is currently looking dodgy - which is all of the English resorts out, too Sad
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Orange200 wrote:
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
Covid has hammered prep work for a smooth transition.


I think Covid is a useful scapegoat there...

Anyway, I have driven to Andorra several times. Remember they are not in the EU and have active border posts which you drive through. I think I've been waved to the side for inspection 2-3 times out of, er, 8-10. It seems to be partly based on the car number plate, so they can't be bothered with the usual French .


On the return they stop the French down in Aix to check for duty frees, much easier than up the mountain.
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LaForet wrote:
And after all that effort, of course, no one actually asked us for any of them.

Same experience for us when we came back via Eurotunnel from France 2 weeks ago. We had forms printed off and downloaded on our phones.
But no one asked us for anything. No questions about where we had been. No request to see the form.
And since, no contact to check whether we were Quarantining (we have been, most diligently).
So essentially, no check-ups at all. rolling eyes
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
davidof wrote:
Orange200 wrote:
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
Covid has hammered prep work for a smooth transition.


I think Covid is a useful scapegoat there...

Anyway, I have driven to Andorra several times. Remember they are not in the EU and have active border posts which you drive through. I think I've been waved to the side for inspection 2-3 times out of, er, 8-10. It seems to be partly based on the car number plate, so they can't be bothered with the usual French .


On the return they stop the French down in Aix to check for duty frees, much easier than up the mountain.


Sorry, fair point. I always enter from the south, Spanish side. Haven't experienced the northern border.
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Orange200 wrote:


Sorry, fair point. I always enter from the south, Spanish side. Haven't experienced the northern border.


I'm surprised they stop you at all with diplomatic plates... I trust you do a good Joss Ackland impression?


http://youtube.com/v/dC7vbK_UoOg
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