Tourist areas in France open Covid test sites as cases rise

Popular tourist areas across France have put in place more testing centres for Covid-19 - to encourage holidaymakers to be tested as easily as possible - as the number of cases rises again.

26 July 2020
People queue at a temporary summer testing centre. Tourist areas in France open Covid test sites as cases riseTemporary testing sites are popping up across France in popular tourist areas
By Connexion journalist

New testing centres - offering rapid PCR nasal swab tests - have popped up in train stations, picnic areas and even beaches across the country, in addition to the extra testing services opened in airports in recent days.

Read more: France to add new airport measures as Covid-19 fears grow

This includes the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine - and particularly the department of Gironde, where cases have risen. Local health body l’Agence Régionale de Santé (ARS) has said that it is aiming to “go where the public is”, such as the beach of La Teste-de-Buch, near the Bassin d’Arcachon and the famous Dune du Pilat.

At the Arcachon train station, a temporary testing tent is now doing up to 100 tests per day. The success of the new centre has even required a larger fridge to be delivered, in which to store the tests until they are taken to the Bordeaux CHU hospital for analysis.

There are also temporary testing centres set up along the Canal d’Ourcq in Paris, and other spaces that are likely to see a lot of tourists and crowds due to good summer weather.

To get a test at one of these centres, you need to show your [insurance card] Carte Vitale and a valid proof of ID. Results will be sent to you by test 24-48 hours later, with an internet link taking you to your result.

The tests are free and do not require a prescription.

Read more: France makes Covid-19 tests free for all as cases rise again

This is in line with a new decree from health minister Olivier Veran, who this weekend confirmed that PCR tests would be available and reimbursed, for anyone who wants one, without a prescription, even if they do not have symptoms.

Airports in France have also stepped up their testing capacity after reports that many arrivals were not being tested, and as a result of many countries now requiring a negative PCR test to enter.

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