This article must only be used as a quick reference guide from my experience before entering Sweden.
You should always refer to the official documents here. The rules keep changing based on the Covid situation. Their official website is the only source of truth.
Keeping that aside, here’s my travel experience.
Take RT-PCR Test 48 Hours Before Your Travel
This is mandatory to board the plane. In my situation I had experienced everything. It was a bit hectic.
In my area, the RT-PCR tests were taking more than 48 hours to deliver the report (and these are private insituations) the government report is taking more than 5 days. This was a shocker when I first went to inquire about the test in the nearest government hospital.
The only option I had was to get tested from a private institution that is registered with ICMR. There are a few institution in my area. And they told me that it would take anywhere between 24-48 hours to get back the report. It means that I was already on the boundary. But anyway I took the test 32 hours before my travel date in the hope that it will be valid at the time I board the flight.
COVID Test Was Invalid By The Time I Reached The Airport
If you have been a regular reader of my blog then you would know it’s never simple with me 😅
When I reached at the check-in counter in Delhi airport, my test report was already invalid and exceeded by 3 hours. And as the instruction says, they cannot allow me to board the plane.
So, what’s next?
Specifically for this reason there are many rapid antigen testing booths outside of the airport. They charge 1200 INR and give the report back to you in less than 30 minutes.
The only thing that was in my favour was time. I had at least 1 hour before the flight takes off. Well, one hour is not enough and AirFrance’s Passenger Check-in officers knew this. So, they assigned an assistant for me.
He was really helpful. I still thank him in my dreams sometimes 😁 He assisted me at every step.
Giving The Test Sample
I rushed to the testing booth outside (and remember I was being assisted all this time). It was intense. I was sweating, breathing heavy, dragging my luggage along with my big and heavy backpack. And you know how big Delhi Airport is. I had to go all the way outside to get tested.
The person at the booth seemed to be very relaxed. I quickly paid the money and within 5 minutes he took the sample.
Now, we were waiting eagerly for the result. If the result would have been positive for any reason (I wouldn’t be travelling that night).
After 15 minutes the report came out and it was NEGATIVE (a breather, smiles all around). These are such times that makes you sweat the hardest. Even though you know you are safe still the doubt pops up from somewhere. But finally, I was in the green ✅
At the same time, the report was emailed to me as well. It was quite impressive.
Then again we rushed back into the airport carrying the report in one hand, trolley in another and a huge backpack 🎒. I was sweating like a pig. But finally managed to reach the check-in counter. Here, the senior officer helped us to quickly get the boarding pass.
The flight is in less than 35 minutes now… 🏃♂️🏃♂️🏃♂️
Side Note #1 – Always keep your Residence Card, Passport and Covid Report handy.
Side Note #2 – I highly recommend you carry a 4 wheels bag, just in case you have to run like me 😁
Now I was kind of sure that the flight won’t take off without me. Thanks to… let’s call him Abhishek, he assisted me throughout. I was worried so I asked him – will the flight take off without me (this conversation is going on while I was running towards the security). He replied by saying “tension mat lo main hoon na” and trust me it was so relaxing 😌
And then at the security checkin I got a special preference. Mainly for two reason:
- I was already late
- Assisted by a trusted AirFrance employee who had the badge
I got pass the security pretty quickly. Maybe in less than 5 minutes or at max 10 (I don’t remember the details, I was being rushed).
Now Comes Emigration
I didn’t got any special preference here. I had to stand in the line and wait for my turn to come. While Abhsihek was waiting on the other side. I reached the counter. Emigration officer asked me a few trivial questions:
- What’s your name?
- Where are you going?
- Why are you going?
That’s all. And BAM!!! Stamp on the passport.
Now, I just had to board the flight. And I was already past the boarding time by 25 minutes 😂. The flight take-off time was 15 minutes from now.
Boarding The Flight
We had to take a long walk to reach the boarding point.
At that time we talked a little bit about me and a little bit about him. It was a pleasant 10 minutes conversation. And it felt relaxing and easing.
Finally arrived at the boarding point. There was no one boarding at that point. I was the last one ☝️
We shook hands, scanned the pass and walked in to board the flight.
Those were the most intense 60 minutes of my life. But somehow I made it.
After Landing In Paris
I intend to write another blog with my entire in-flight experience. I won’t off-track this article with it. I’m mentioning it here just to give you a glimpse of the Paris Airport.
The one thing that I want you to learn from my experience is to make sure you have a valid Covid report that is not older than 48 hours. This time is calculated from the time the sample was taken and not the time when the report was generated.
There’s one more thing that I forget to mention.
The 48 hours rule applies at the Paris airport as well. Even if you had a valid report here in India, they might stop you at the Paris airport because by the time you reach the airport your report might not be valid anymore. Make sure you have taken the test just a few hours before boarding the flight from Delhi airport.
So, if you will look back at my journey I would say it all happened for a reason. If my test would have been just by 2-3 hours in Delhi, I would have faced the problem in Paris. Only because I had a fresh report, I was able to travel smoothly throughout.