France has it right when it comes to the convenience, timely delivery of results, and price based on the 20+ PCR-RT tests I have done in various parts of the world to date.
This past Sunday, I arrived in the country and was initially scheduled to leave for the Maldives three days later.
My original plan was to use the Covid testing available at the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport on arrival, which I had used once in 2020 (read more here – I tested positive back then), and use the result less than 72 hours later when I was scheduled to fly out.
My plans changed when I was able to move the Etihad flights to the following day once the award availability opened up (called AA and had the ticket changed).
Then I had the problem of how to arrange the test in the center of Paris. You often must book the appointment in advance, take an Uber to a clinic, and wait for the results that may come within 24 hours.
I have to say that I was extremely positive about how things worked in the center of Paris.
1. Park Hyatt Paris gave me an address to a pharmacy couple of hundred meters away that was also doing Covid-19 antigen and PCR-RT tests. I saw several pharmacies advertising testing in the city center. I am not sure if all of them do.
2. The tests could be free for those covered by the French healthcare system but reasonably priced for others, as is the case with the airport. I paid 59 euros.
3. I went upstairs, pulled up the registration website, filled in my info, and proceeded with the test.
4. Received an SMS text message and email roughly 11 hours later that the result was ready.
5. I logged in to the website and downloaded the result along with the EU Digital Covid Certificate. There was also an option to automatically add the results to the French app for Covid-certificates that I did and presented that at the Etihad check-in desk at CDG on Thursday.
I wish that all the cities would have as reasonably priced testing widely available, as is the case in Paris.
There is also an option to do a rapid PCR-RT test at the CDG airport and get the results in two hours. However, you need to book it in advance, and they didn’t appear to be available on all weekdays based on my observations.
I have to say that I was a bit overwhelmed with the test center environment and wasn’t sure first if I was in the right place.