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REVEALED: How to get France’s health pass using the UK’s NHS Covid pass

REVEALED: How to get France's health pass using the UK's NHS Covid pass
Photo by DAMIEN MEYER / AFP.
As France extends its health passport to several everyday activities including visiting swimming pools, gyms and cinemas, it has been revealed that the English NHS app can be scanned into the French health passport, proving useful for those who had their vaccines in the UK. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting the Covid health pass needed for many activities in France.

People visiting or living in France can upload their vaccine certificates, negative test results taken within the previous 48 hours, or positive tests within the past six months to the TousAntiCovid app, which acts as a health pass.

The pass is required to enter culture and leisure venues with more than 50 people, such as museums and cinemas and from the start of August, people in France will need to show a health pass to enter cafés, restaurants, bars, shopping centres, hospitals, and long-distance coach and train travel.

The French Embassy in the UK has now confirmed that the NHS app is compatible with the French health passport.

The Local has tested this and heard from readers who have successfully uploaded their certificates, but there are some things to watch out for.

For the moment, this only applies to people vaccinated in England, since devolved nations are not using the app.

Here’s how to convert your NHS vaccine certificate into a French health pass.

STEP 1

Get your NHS Covid pass QR code.

You can access your QR code through the NHS App or on the NHS website. First you will need to log into your NHS account.

Once you are logged in, you can download your health pass. According to the NHS website, “An NHS COVID Pass shows your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination details or test results.”

Several readers of The Local have said that only the most recent version of the NHS Covid Pass works with the French app – the most recent versions have two scan codes instead of one, so people who got an earlier certificate may need to log into the app or website and download the most recent version.

Download the certificate or print it out.

You can also request an NHS Covid pass letter online HERE, and it will arrive by post.

STEP 2

Download the French app, which is called TousAntiCovid app.

You can find it on your iOS device HERE, or on Android devices HERE.

This is the app you will use in France to prove you have been vaccinated. Most of the text in the app appears in the language your phone is set to, so if your phone is English then you will get the English version.

STEP 3

Scan your QR code into the app.

When you open the TousAntiCovid app, click on the option ‘Scan a QR Code’. Then, align the white square with your NHS QR code, which you should have on paper or on another device.

You should receive a message saying “Your health pass is valid with this certificate”. In which case, you’re good to go.

READ ALSO When, where and why you’ll need a health pass in France from July 21st

In theory, when you arrive in France, all you need to do is open the app, and click on “Open my wallet” to access your QR code, which venues will be able to scan.

However, for the moment, there has been no official announcement about whether this works in practice for Brits. The French embassy’s website still says, “For the moment, the NHS’s QR code is not recognised by the TousAntiCovid app, so you will need to show your NHS certificate.”

We will update this article once more information is available.

Travel

The systems for the health passport once you are in France and the travel system are not exactly the same.

Fully vaccinated travellers arriving from the UK do not need to show a negative test or quarantine on arrival in France. But they do still need to provide a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight. This can be found on the French government’s website

They also need to provide proof of their vaccination status and for the moment this cannot be done via the app – so you will need to show either a printed or digital copy of your NHS vaccination certificate at the border.

Travellers from the UK who are not fully vaccinated can only travel to France if they have an essential reason for their journey. They must provide a negative PCR or antigen test taken less than 24 hours before departure, and must quarantine for seven days upon arrival.

What to do if it doesn’t work

Some people have reported getting the error message, “Wrong format: This certificate’s format is not correct. Please try to scan it with more light, and moving slowly. And make sure you scan the QR Code of the right document.”

There are two possible reasons for this.

Downloaded NHS certificates are only valid for 30 days. So if you are unable to scan your QR code, try downloading a new certificate, which will provide you with a fresh code.

Alternatively it may be that you do not have the most up to date format of the certificate, which has two scan codes instead of one. If this is the case, you need to download a new version.

If it still does not work, it is currently possible to use your NHS vaccination certificate as a health pass in France, as long as you have a QR code. This measure was put in place while it was impossible to scan British passes into the French app.


Member comments

  1. It unfortunately does not work for QR codes from the NHS. It will load into the TousAntiCovid app fine but anywhere which then checks it with the TAC Verif app will not recognise it.

    This is apparently because of a technical issue from the NHS app where the QR codes are not being signed correctly. Venues will not be able to accept UK NHS Vaccine passports in the app. A fix is expected this week.

    https://twitter.com/iroughol/status/1418163480985841665

  2. I have successfully uploaded the NHS QR code into the wallet, and everything suggests that it will work, but has anyone actually used it successfully in France?

  3. So UK residents can have their vaccinations recognized in France, but Brits vaccinated in France – even with the Oxford AZ vaccine – won’t have their vaccinations recognized in the UK? What are we supposed to do – get vaccinated a third and fourth time in Britain?

  4. Perhaps we, in Scotland, should be pressing the Scottish Government to issue a QR Code instead of a piece of paper to allow us to move freely in France.

  5. Thanks Stephen. No, nothing in Wallet but will try again tomorrow.

  6. Is the certificate already in the ‘wallet’? Click the Open My Wallet button and see if there is a QR code there, and your details below it. Worth checking. SB

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