Greetings from sunny Florida! On Saturday morning, Tom dropped me off at Nantes Airport and three flights later, I landed in West Palm Beach. I’ll be stateside for a little bit visiting family so if you’re curious about what travel from France to the USA is like right now, that’s exactly what I’ll be getting into. I made a travel vlog while en route, so I’d love if you checked that out too!
I went from Nantes to West Palm Beach with a stop first in Paris Charles de Gaulle and then Atlanta. My connections were tight but it kept me moving without too much downtime in airports, so that was a plus. I got lucky that none of my flights were delayed and my suitcase made it to Florida. Normally, Tom and I go through Miami and have two flights instead of three but this routing made sense for me this time and wasn’t more expensive.
My flight to Paris was completely full (mostly vaccinated French people traveling somewhere else in Europe for vacation), but my flight over the Atlantic from CDG to ATL was barely half full. It makes sense because the French (and permanent residents) cannot travel abroad for vacation at the moment. My flight within the US from ATL to PBI was 95% full.
Right now, travel abroad for French citizens and permanent residents is restricted. For me to be able to leave France and be able to get back in, I needed to prove I was going to the USA for les motifs impérieux. There’s a form required where you have to show proof you’re traveling for a professional reason, an urgent health reason, or a death in the family/urgent family medical situation. Not vacation.
While US citizens can always return to the US, to be able to get back into France, I had to prove that I was traveling for one of the above reasons. Without going into too much detail, just know my family situation did fall into one of those categories. France is currently still quite restricted and the pandemic is not a thing of the past just yet. Masks are required everywhere and even outdoors in some places.
Upon check-in at the Nantes Airport, they asked to see my negative COVID test results (test within 72 hours of travel), the form required by the US government where we certify we have negative test results and don’t have symptoms, form from the French government that certifies I’m traveling for an important, urgent reason so I can get back into France along with proof.
Then at the gate at CDG, they collected the form for the US government, rechecked the negative COVID test, and also took our temperature after we scanned our boarding pass directly before walking onto the plane. It was a gun type of thermometer that they aim at your forehead but doesn’t actually make contact with your skin.
While traveling, a mask was required both in France and the US the entire time — in the airport and on the plane. We were only allowed to remove the mask while eating and drinking and they recommended we change our mask every couple of hours.
When it was time to deplane, Air France made an announcement that we were to stay seated until the row in front of us cleared out and people pretty much followed the rules. It wasn’t’ a free for all with everyone standing up at once rushing to get off the plane.
I’ll be stateside for a little while and helping my family, so Tom and Dagny are back in France for this trip. It’s unfortunately not a vacation although it feels great to be here and I’m so happy to see family in person after 18 months of pandemic life. We are still living in Covid times and I definitely would’t have traveled if it were not urgent.
I was able to get my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine before I left France and will have the second dose upon my return in June.
Here’s a travel vlog of my day of flying over on my YouTube channel:
Thanks for watching and hope you’re all well!