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REVEALED: How to use France’s health pass using the UK’s NHS Covid QR code

REVEALED: How to use France's health pass using the UK's NHS Covid QR code
Photo by DAMIEN MEYER / AFP.
A health pass is now compulsory to enter venues including bars, cafés, tourist sites and long-distance trains in France. So how does this work for travellers from the UK?

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 now acts as a health pass.

The pass is required to enter culture and leisure venues, cafés, restaurants, bars, shopping centres, hospitals, and long-distance coach and train travel.

For full details of where the pass is needed, click HERE.

The French Embassy in the UK has confirmed that the NHS app is compatible with with France’s TousAntiCovid app. In other words travellers vaccinated in England and Wales can upload their NHS QR codes onto the French app.

For people vaccinated in Scotland or Northern Ireland things are more complicated, since these countries do not use the NHS app – if you received your vaccination there, click HERE for the protocol.

The Local has tested this and heard from readers who have successfully uploaded their certificates. 

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See also on The Local:

On August 4th, the French government announced that NHS QR codes now work with the TousAntiCovid verif app used by venues to scan QR codes before allowing entry. The verif app shows the user the name and date of birth of the person trying to get entry and gives a green tick if their QR code is valid.

You should be able to gain access simply by showing your digital NHS health pass or printed vaccination certificate. However, it’s a good idea to scan your certificate into the French app just to be safe.

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 their certificate again.

If you have two codes, the one relating to your second dose of the vaccine is the one that you want.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

In travel terms, people are only ‘fully vaccinated’ 14 days after their final vaccine dose but the health pass works seven days after the final dose.

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.

The app is looking for proof that you are ‘fully vaccinated’ so it will only accept a code from your second or final dose of the vaccine, codes from a first jab will not work.


Member comments

  1. Excellent article. Easy to follow. Downloaded the French app today (21 August) and scanned NHS QR vaccination code. It works! (Although haven’t actually tried using it in France yet! Still in Italy.)

  2. Does anyone know how it works for someone vaccinated in Scotland, I have tried the pharmacy route and was told it has changed again and is not possible for them to issue a French QR code for the app. I’m here as a second home owner and cannot even meet friends for coffee as locals only want to see the app, not a Scottish bit of paper!

  3. As of 28 July the NHS QR code still does not work with TousAnti Covid app, nor the NHS app alone. Any update on when the NHS will fix their QR code ?

  4. 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

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

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