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VACCINE

Reader question: Do I need to show proof of my medical condition to get a Covid vaccine in France?

France has from May 1st opened up appointments for the Covid vaccine to people of any age, if they have one of the listed long-term medical conditions - but what proof do you need to provide of this?

Reader question: Do I need to show proof of my medical condition to get a Covid vaccine in France?
Younger people can now be vaccinated if they have a medical condition. Photo: AFP

Question: I’m 40 years old, but I have one of listed medical conditions that means I’m eligible for a Covid vaccine, do I need proof of my illness to make the appointment or at the vaccine centre?

On Friday, the French health minister Olivier Véran announced that, from May 1st, all adults who had ‘co-mobidities’ would be able to access a Covid vaccine in France.

Anyone over the age of 55 – without or without health issues – and healthcare workers were already eligible for the jab.

Now people of all ages suffering from a range of medical conditions including diabetes, hypertension or a BMI of 30 or above can book an appointment for a vaccine. Find the full list of qualifying conditions HERE.

READ ALSO How to book an appointment for the Covid vaccine in France

Later on Friday, the health ministry clarified that a prescription from your doctor certifying that you have one of these conditions was not necessary, saying: “In order to facilitate access to vaccination for those concerned, it is not necessary to present a medical prescription.”

But do you need to present any proof at all, such as previous prescriptions for medication or a doctor’s letter?

Over the weekend several people reported that booking platforms were still stating that a prescription was necessary, but this appears to be a question of sites not being updated, and by Monday afternoon most had the new requirements.

There were also reports of vaccine centres asking for proof, but again officials said this was down to a lack of detailed guidance being submitted to staff on the ground between the new rules being announced on Friday and coming into effect on Saturday.

“There is nothing to prevent a doctor from asking for proof in case of doubt, but this is not systematic. The directive is very clear”, the Health Ministry told Le Parisien on Monday.

Officials from the regional health authority for the Paris area added they had “made it clear on Friday to the vaccination centres that no certificate was required”.

The ministry said that a simple ‘declaration’ – usually ticking a box on the booking form confirming that you suffer from one of the listed conditions – will suffice.

So what’s to stop people lying about their medical conditions?

Their honour. You are required to make an attestation sur l’honneur (a sworn statement) that you qualify for a vaccine under the conditions laid out.

READ ALSO What does it mean when you declare on your honour in France?

The ministry also calls on “everyone to be responsible so as not to overload the appointment process”. 

Member comments

  1. Sadly still vaccines being refused – medical condition or not – if you don’t have the right SS number or carte vitale to fill in the box, despite what any ‘decree’ might say….’computer says no….’

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For members

COVID-19

Where in France do you still need a face mask?

In France, masks will no longer be required on indoor transport as of Monday, May 16th. Here are rules and recommendations that are still in place:

Where in France do you still need a face mask?

Members of the public in France have been asked to wear face masks for the most part of two years, at times even outside in the street.

Since March 14th, 2022, the facial coverings have no longer been mandatory in most establishments such as shops, and as of Monday, May 16th, it will no longer be mandatory on indoor public transport. 

As of May 16th, you will therefore no longer be required to wear a mask in the following transports:

  • Buses and coaches
  • Subways and streetcars
  • RER and TER
  • TGV and interregional lines
  • Taxis

Regarding airplanes whether or not you must wear a mask is a bit more complicated.

On Wednesday, May 11th, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced that from May 16th onward it would no longer be required to wear a mask in airports and on board aircraft in the European Union. However, Germany has stated that it does not have the intention of lifting its requirement of wearing a mask on its airlines – this would include the Lufthansa airline. Thus, it will be necessary for passengers to still very to rules each airline has in place, which could be the case when travelling to a country that still has indoor mask requirements in place.

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky specified that vulnerable people should continue to wear masks, and that “a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, to reassure those seated nearby.”

Masks still obligatory in medical settings

However, it will still be mandatory for caregivers, patients and visitors in health care facilities, specifically including hospitals, pharmacies, medical laboratories, retirement homes, and establishments for the disabled. 

For people who are vulnerable either due to their age or their status as immunocompromised, wearing a mask will continue to be recommended, though not required, particularly for enclosed spaces and in large gatherings.

Masks are also still recommended for people who test positive, people who might have come in contact with Covid-19, symptomatic people and healthcare professionals.

Will masks come back?

It is possible. French Health Minister Olivier Véran does not exclude the return of mandatory mask-wearing, should the health situation require it.

What are the other Covid-19 restrictions that remain in place?

The primary restriction that has not changed is the French government’s regulation for testing positive: If you are unvaccinated and test positive, isolation is still required for 10 days, if you are vaccinated, this requirement is seven days. Isolation can be reduced from 10 to 7 days or from 7 to 5 days if a negative covid test is performed, and symptoms are no longer present.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What Covid restrictions remain in place in France?

The French Health Ministry still recommends following sanitary measures such as: wearing a mask in places where it is still mandatory, hand washing, regular ventilation of rooms, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and using a single-use handkerchief (tissue).

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