Pandemic-Driving through more than one EU country. Recent experience?

10 Jan 2022


Pondering whether to drive, train or fly to Italy in a week or so. Hoping that the ban on all but essential entry to France is lifted this week and ideally want to drive either France-Italy or France-Germany-Austria-Italy. Anyone got any recent experience about COVID passports/testing regimes crossing borders in the Schengen area, or do we only have to worry about in and out of France/UK? Will they be checking GB (sorry, UK) plate cars at the Chamonix tunnel?!

11 Jan 2022


No but we are in the same position but via the Netherlands, Germany and Austria but know we can’t get into the Netherlands yet. 

11 Jan 2022


My recent experience: UK/French border a nightmare whether by air or road.  The biggest delays were caused by UK border staff having hardly any staff on duty while carrying out careful checks on every passenger in a queue of hundreds of cars.

Swiss/French and French /Italian borders do not seem to be controlled at all, obviously there may be intermittent controls we are not aware of.  This was not in a UK vehicle.

I don't see why there should be a problem at the Mont Blanc tunnel because you are allowed into Italy anyway so long as you have a recent negative test and fill out a locator form. If you need to refresh your negative antigen test to stay within the time window, I recomend buying some in advance from a company like Chronomics (about £15, get a few spare just in case) and you can email them the photo when you are already nearby and they email you the certificate back.  Otherwise Mirialis in Sallanches and Chamonix is a very efficient lab that does walk in tests, or most small pharmacies do them too. But there have been quite big queues for tests in France recently.  Make sure the lab clerk types in your correct email address ... we have had several results go missing from badly organised labs.

Obviously you need to be vaccinated, otherwise forget it.  Make sure you have the NHS app that gives you a QR code to show this. You can import it into the french "tous anti covid" app (or Swiss or Italian equivalents) although it should work on its own. Annoyingly the NHS QR codes expire every 30 days so you need to keep them refreshed. You will need to show the QR code absolutely everywhere.


14 Jan 2022


Hi Steve,

I drove to Italy 4th-6th January. Harwich to Hoek of Holland overnight. Drove through Holland and Germany without problems. Stayed overnight in Switzerland on the 5th and crossed over into Val d’Aosta via Grand St. Bernard on the 6th. Only slight delay (30 mins) was getting passports stamped on arrival at Hoek of Holland. In order to comply with every country’s testing requirements it was necessary to do a rapid PCR test (3 hour turnaround) at Heathrow Airport before driving to Harwich and boarding the ferry - giving us 48 hours to make the trip.  The re-opening of France should make this much easier now of course.


Mark Adams.