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Can families with unvaccinated children holiday in France this summer?

Can families with unvaccinated children holiday in France this summer?
Photo: Bertrand Langlois/AFP
With the expansion of France's health passport scheme, accessing venues like cafés, museums and tourist sites will be more complicated for those who are not vaccinated. So what does this mean for families whose children have not yet had the vaccine?

As part of a package of measures aimed at controlling a fourth wave of Covid, driven by the delta variant, French president Emmanuel Macron has laid out plans to greatly expand the use of the pass sanitaire (health passport) in France.

The passport provides proof of either fully vaccinated status or a negative Covid test within the previous 72 hours, or recent recovery from Covid and from August will be required to enter venues including cafés, bars, restaurants, museums, cinemas, theatres, tourist sites and shopping centres and to use long-distance coach or train services.

You can read a full explanation of how the passport works HERE.

The passport will be required for everyone over 12.

While in France vaccines are open to everyone over the age of 12, many other countries have not yet begun vaccinating under 18s – so what does this mean for families who want to travel to France this summer?

READ ALSO Can tourists use France’s health passport?

If the adults in the family are vaccinated, then entry to France is allowed for children on the same terms as their parents.

Once in France, parents will have to use the health passport to access venues including cafés and tourist sites – and the French government has confirmed that foreign vaccination certificates including the NHS app will be accepted as proof of vaccinated status.

The plan as originally announced was for the passport to be required for all over 12s from the beginning of August.

However France only opened its vaccination programme to under 18s in June, and the majority of French teenagers are not yet fully vaccinated.

After many parents – including government ministers who have kids – pointed out that this would a create a logistical nightmare for parents over the holiday period, it was announced that under 18s will be allowed into these venues without a health passport until August 30th.

This is intended to give families time to get their children vaccinated, and enjoy the summer holidays together.

However from August 30th it will be compulsory – subject to a vote in parliament – for all over 12s to present a health passport to access certain venues.

The passport has the option to show a negative Covid test for people who are not vaccinated, but the test must be from the previous 72 hours, so people who intend to rely on this will need to do tests every three days.

Tests are readily available and easy to access in France, but non-residents must pay for them. Costs are capped at €49 for a PCR test or €29 for an antigen test – either are accepted for the health passport.

READ ALSO How tourists and visitors can get a Covid test in France 


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