When, where and why you need a health passport in France

When, where and why you need a health passport in France
Photo: Sebastien Salom-Gomis | AFP
As France faces a Delta variant-driven fourth wave of Covid-19, people are now required to carry a health passport to visit cultural or leisure venues. Here's when and where you will need the passport.

The pass sanitaire, as health passports are known in France, proves that the bearer has either been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, has already recovered from the virus having tested positive more than eleven days and less than six months ago, or has received a negative test result in the past 48 hours.

Where it’s required

From July 21st, health passes are required to enter public cultural and leisure venues that welcome 50 people or more. This applies to venues such as theatres, cinemas, libraries, theme parks, concert halls, festivals, swimming pools or leisure centres, museums and monuments, and takes effect ahead of a wider extension of the health pass rules from August 1st.

The pass previously only applied to events hosting more than 1,000 people.

READ ALSO: The key dates to know as France tightens Covid restrictions

The Ministry of Sport has said that sports halls, stadiums and swimming pools are included from July 21st.

Employees of these venues have until August 30th to be fully vaccinated. That means, to allow the minimum period between doses, they should get their first jab by August 1st, at the latest, according to government information.

Chilren aged between 12 and 17 also have an exemption until August 30th, to allow families time to get their children vaccinated.

Face masks will no longer be required in venues where the health passport is in use, unless required by local decrees.

READ ALSO: ‘I’m a barman, not a policeman’ – French café owners call for delay in implementing health passports

Why it’s being expanded

President Emmanuel Macron defended the tightening of the restrictions after earlier pledging that the health pass would not be required for “everyday activities” by saying he was trying to strike a balance between “protection and freedom, between protecting lives and reopening the country”.

READ ALSO: France to tackle Covid fourth wave with stricter border controls, health passports and compulsory vaccines

Expanding the use of the health pass was the best way to achieve that balance, he said.

43 of France’s 96 mainland départments had surpassed the alert level of 50 cases for every 100,000 inhabitants on Tuesday, as France attempts to limit the effects of a fourth Covid wave.

For vaccinations, health passes become valid seven days after the second dose. The same period is in force for those who have recovered from Covid-19 and have had a single booster dose of vaccine. 

For the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, known as Janssen in France, the period is four-weeks.

From early August, health passes will be required to enter cafés, restaurants, bars, certain shopping centres, hospitals or nursing homes as a visitor, and long-distance travel on trains, planes or coaches.

Those aged between 12 and 17 have until August 30th to be vaccinated before health pass rules apply to them.

Member comments

  1. Hi folks, I can’t find any other source for these information. Does anyone have clear information on the government’s policy on health pass for people vaccinated abroad?

    Pharmacies don’t seem able to record these yet without having to “claim” that they have actually vaccinated us (which could have legal repercussions for them).

    Thank you,

  2. How do I get a Pass Sanitaire if I am a US citizen and was fully vaccinated in the US? I tried going to a pharmacy today and they did not know how to make one for me.

  3. here’s th reason we need these. I read a quote in the news over the weekend from some guy who was at one of the anti-vaccine-certificate protests that pretty summed up the French attitude:

    “Macron plays on fears, it’s revolting. I know people who will now get vaccinated just so that they can take their children to the movies, not to protect others from serious forms of covid”

    This guy meant it as an indictment of Macron’s “despotic” ways, but it’s actually really a indictment of his own attitude. In other words, he was saying “I don’t care whether you live or die, I’ll only get vaccinated so that I can keep my social life”. And this is the sort of people that needs to be forced to “do the right thing”, because they won’t do it by themselves.

    1. Yes, the 112,000 people in France alone who have died would agree with you (so would the 4m world-world who have died): Covid-19 is horrifying.
      The French Covid-19 patients in hospital, 99% of which are not fully-vaccinated, would also agree with you: Not being vaccinated is horrifically absurd.
      So would the over 3 billion world-wide who have had a vaccine: It’s safe, so waiting despite vaccines being available, is horrific.

  4. I just got tossed from the Jewish Museum with my Italian health pass (issued 2 July). I wasn’t the only one — my husband, another man and two children were refused entry while I was there.

    1. I my be mistaken, but I believe the EU-compliant version (the one that also lets you travel within the EU) should suffice. Here in France, the proof-of-vaccination is now EU-compliant (and people with older, non-EU-compliant, French proof can obtain an EU-compliant version).

      EU-complaint health passes only came into existence on 1st July, so I *presume* (this is a guess!) your Italian health pass of about that date isn’t EU-compliant. (Of course, it’s possible the checks were in error.) I have no idea if this presumed-glitch can be rectified whilst you are in France (nor how to rectify the problem when in Italy). Sorry!

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