SNCF Covid Testing and Travel
For those new to the game SNCF is France's rail system. Since November SNCF has offered testing ‘boxes’ in front of Gare de Lyon and Gare de l’Est in Paris. I’m not quite sure why only those two, as each train station leads to a different part of France, and Montparnasse, du Nord, and Lazare are heavy traffic as well, but... France. Only those two offer it.
You can find these boxes in front of the station. They said they can accommodate 200 people per day, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but passenger numbers are probably down so perhaps 200 a day is good enough. They’re open Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm (pause from 1-2p). To use their service you will need to register and can do so here. The test is free of course. They ask that the morning be for those with symptoms or contact cases, while the afternoon is open to everyone. You’ll receive the results in 24 hours. By text if your fine, a phone call from a doctor if you have it.
If you are traveling during curfew (6pm-6am) you just need to show your ticket which will be proof that you can be out and your exemption form. The form can be found here. A mask must be worn on the train. You will be checked for one upon entry to the station. If one isn’t worn you will incur a 135€ fine.
As for using the stations, travel from outside France is different depending on where you’re coming from. Obviously the travel has to be necessary, and each country comes with their own quarantine rules. For instance if traveling from England to France you will need to quarantine 10 days, but if traveling from Germany or the rest of the EU there isn’t a quarantine. Either way everyone needs an attestation explaining why they need to travel to France, and their test, taken within 72 hours, proving they are negative.
They haven't yet acknowledged providing your vaccination card. I assume because they haven't gotten very far with their vaccinations; they're ignoring it for now. All of the quarantine rules, and refund information for tickets can be found here.
I know many Americans are anxious about rebooking their trips. Unfortunately there is as yet no information for Americans. I know that is frustrating. The American population is well on it’s way to being wholly vaccinated by May (congrats to the 135+ million people who have gotten it so far 🎉!), but France has yet to acknowledge loosening the restriction. They're probably salty because AstraZeneca isn't working out for them and the US doesn’t want to share. Expect news closer to summer because everyone (news) is mentioning it’s odd that they aren’t acknowledging vaccinated Americans being allowed in for summer travel.