Saturday 18th June 2022

Morning

Up 08 30. Messages from those attending TUC rally and march in London. Decision made to travel to France to support friend in hospital/at home. Let friend know could not join him Sunday as planned due to trip.

Breakfast : toast; jam; coffee. Did dishes; went to bathroom and showered.

Researched travel requirements using UK and French government websites : COVID certificate or negative PCR test required (not self adminstered), plus travel insurance. Tried in vain to access COVID Certificate via NHS Account, failing to verify mobile number to which system was sending security codes. Identified previous travel cover and policy and provider and tried in vain to order new policy online, opting to use Post Office instead. Bought cover in Post Office in town (inside branch of WH Smith) and visited shop of test provider offering ‘Test to Travel’ PCR tests at £39.99 a pop. Queried member staff as tests were self-administered and presumably ineligible : ‘that’s the free NHS ones’. Discussed with friend at studio, opting to submit Photo ID to NHS Account and risk arriving at Eurotunnel without response from system. Cleaned and secured studio, taking rubbish out, and packing before leaving.

Afternoon

Travelled to Eurotunnel at Folkestone by car, buying takeaway lunch at service station.

Lunch : Duck in hoisin sauce; vegetables (wrap).

Wrangled with NHS Account again after approval of second image submitted only for mobile phone to lose power at point could access NHS COVID Certificate. Not requested by British or French officials on entry to terminal/campus. Tried recharging phone in terminal and then car, succeeding in downloading PDF which my phone could not display. Sent copy to friend by email in case needed.

Evening

Uneventful trip, travelling to Dunkerque to eat en-route to Villeneuve d’Ascq. French officials did not ask to see COVID credentials.

Supper : magret de canard; frites; red wine (courtesy friend).

Completed journey, noticing extent of smoking chimneys/manufacturing sites in and around Dunkerque.

Turned in after minimum of unpacking.