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AMERICANS IN FRANCE

How people vaccinated outside the EU can access the French health passport

France has extended its health passport scheme so it will be required to access a number of everyday venues including cafés, trains and tourist sites - so how can visitors from outside the EU access this?

How people vaccinated outside the EU can access the French health passport
Photo: Sebastian Solom Gomis/AFP

Please note that this is an old article and the system has now changed – full details HERE

The health passport is required in France to access venues including swimming pools, cinemas and tourist sites, bars, cafés, shopping malls and long-distance train or bus travel.

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

If you were vaccinated in France it is pretty simple to load your vaccination certificate onto the health passport app – here’s how.

People vaccinated in the EU have compatible vaccination certificates, while for those in England and Wales the NHS app is compatible with the French health passport app. From September 3rd, Scottish vaccination certificates are also compatible.

But for those vaccinated outside Europe – and those vaccinated in Northern Ireland which is not currently using the NHS app – things are a little more complicated.

However, it’s not an impossible problem.

For entry into France, showing a foreign vaccination certificate – either on paper or in a digital format – is sufficient if you are ‘fully vaccinated’.

In travel terms that means you have had a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson) are at least two weeks after your second dose (or four weeks if you had the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine).

Those vaccinated with a vaccine not currently approved by the EMA, which includes Sinopharm and Sputnik, do not count as ‘fully vaccinated’ under French rules and need to follow the protocols for unvaccinated travellers.

Once you are in France, you will need to show the health passport – showing either proof of vaccination, a recent negative Covid test or recent recovery from Covid – to access a number of leisure or cultural venues.

Initially, non-European tourists were told to take their US vaccination certificates to a pharmacy in France, where staff could convert the code into a French one that would be compatible with the app.

However, an online portal has now been set up and since August 27th has been accessible to non-French citizens.

Who is eligible

The system applies to people vaccinated in a country other than the EU Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Switzerland, England or Wales.

EU and Schengen zone countries issue vaccine certificates which are already compatible with the French health pass.

If you were vaccinated in England or Wales, find out how to access the French pass using your NHS certificate HERE.

The full requirements are;

  • You must also have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the EMA or equivalent. These are: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca (including Covishield) and Johnson & Johnson.
  • It must be four weeks after your dose if you received a one-dose injection (Johnson & Johnson);
    Seven days after the second injection for two-dose vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca);
    Seven days after the injection if you have recovered from Covid-19 (in which case, only one dose is necessary);
  • You must be over 18 (Until 30th September, under 18s do not need to show a health passport. This will be expanded to those aged 12-17 after that date)

You also need to be either in France or intending to travel ‘in the coming days’, although the site does not specify exactly how imminent your trip needs to be.

How to apply

In order to receive a French certificate, you need to prepare the following documents in PDF, JPG or PNG format:

  • A vaccination certificate, demonstrating full vaccination
  • A valid passport
  • Tickets showing your dates of travel into France

Online application

Online applications were initially open only to French citizens, but since August 27th this has now been expanded to anyone who was vaccinated outside the EU – whether they are tourists planning a visit, French residents who got their vaccines elsewhere or people who have recently moved to France from a non-EU country

You can find the portal HERE.

Unless you are a student, in which case you apply HERE.

First you will need to create an account using an email address and password – or if you are a French resident you can sign in using France Connect.

You are then taken to a simple one-page form which asks you to fill in your personal details and the details of when, where and with what dose you were vaccinated. the address required is your address outside France, so your home address for tourists or previous address for people moving to France.

The form also requires you to upload supporting documents; a valid passport, a vaccination certificate and a travel ticket (this can be either a ticket for a planned trip or the way that you arrived in France if you are already here).

Once you have filled in the form click the button to Déposer le dossier.

By email

Previously, visitors were told to apply by email, but since August 27th, new applications have been met with a bounce-back telling them to apply online instead.

Applications should, however, still be processed for people who applied before that date and are still waiting for a response.

READ ALSO Revealed: How easy is it for tourists to access France’s health passport?

At the pharmacy

Many readers of The Local reported long delays when applying on the old email system. We don’t yet know how quick and efficient the online portal is likely to be, but if you do end up waiting for a long time, the other option is to visit a pharmacy in France.

Some pharmacies are able to exchange a non-French vaccine certificate for the French code, although this is not a statutory service so pharmacies are not obliged to do this. Many readers have reported successfully making the swap at a pharmacy, but you may need to shop around to find a pharmacist willing to do this.

Get a test

The other option for people who are still waiting for a French code is to get a Covid test. The health passport can be used with a negative Covid test that is less than 72 hours old, and tests are easily accessible in France from pharmacies or pop-up testing centres – more details here.

READ ALSO How unvaccinated people can use the French health passport

Talks are ongoing between the EU and a number of non-EU countries on harmonising the technology to allow various countries’ apps to scan non-EU certificates.

What to do once you have the code

Once your application is processed you will be sent a QR code.

If you don’t have a smartphone, you can print out this code and show it at health passport venues.

If you do have a smartphone, you can then download the TousAntiCovid app and scan in your new code. You can then show that at any health passport venue in France for entry.

For a full explanation on how the app works, click HERE. 

Member comments

  1. I’ll be going to France in mid August, first to Normandy and then to our second home in the Luberon. I’m American and am fully vaccinated, with my CDC card.

    I have planned to take a bus or train to Caen when I arrive. It sounds like I’ll need to have electronic health passport in order to get on public transportation. Is there a pharmacy or some other facility at the CDG airport where I might get an electronic documentation? Any suggestions?

  2. My American tourist students could NOT access the Chantilly Château with American vaccination papers. One student in the Tour Eiffel : they wanted iphone code.

  3. I live in Paris, but was vaccinated in the US. I went to a local pharmacy near Place de la République in Paris, and asked if they could provide an attestation with QR code. The pharmacist knew exactly what to do. She only needed the information from my CDC card and asked for my address. I asked, and you do not need a French social security number to receive it.

  4. I checked at my local pharmacy (Aprium, 105, ave Felix Faure). They have heard about this, but after much keyboard tapping, the friendly (English-speaking) lady was not able to find anything official enough in her system to be able to offer a solution. She suggested checking back next week. Meanwhile the word on “the street” is: carry your little white CDC card and your passport (so they know the CDC card matches you).

  5. We tried many pharmacies in Paris today, asking if they could enter our US CDC card into the French system. They all said that it was not possible yet. Several said that they had double-checked this with higher-ups and it was simply not possible. (It may well be possible if you have a French Social Security number.)

    The only alternative at the moment is a 29 Euro 15-minute antigen test done *every 48 hours*. They are available at most pharmacies. Pharmacies near tourist attractions often have long lines or are fully booked, but we found one without a line.

    Reading the news, when the new restrictions was announced, the government said they would have a solution for foreigners that would be available “within a week,” but more than a week has passed.

    1. Here’s the address of the pharmacy I went to today – Pharmacie Beaurepaire, 4 Rue Beaurepaire, 75010. Had no problem getting it, and she said no social security number necessary. I did give her my carte vitale, but she said she did not use my social security number.

  6. I have asked three pharmacies about creating a QRCode for my CDC paper certificate. A small one Rue Jacob, Bader on Blvd St-Michel and CityPharma. They all said they could not do it. I presented CDC card for entrance to UGC cinema (6th) and was turned away. The MK2 next door accepted it. I guess I’ll spend the day going from pharmacy to pharmacy in hopes of finding one that can provide the electronic document. Thanks to all for your info.

  7. As of 14h today the big vaccination site at Hôtel de Ville is NOT doing CDC to Pass Sanitaire conversions because they are doing vaccinations and don’t have enough staff to do both. A bunch of us exchanged all our rumors and went to the pharmacy at 1, rue Auber just next to Hotel Intercontinental (Metro Opera). They ARE doing it. Use the queue to the right of the entrance as the other one is for pharmacy customers. It’s 20 euro and they take plastic. Bonne chance!

  8. What about correcting mistakes on *French* vaccination paperwork? Suggestions welcome.
    My teen daughter had her first vaccination in Paris & immediately afterwards I saw on the signed letter that the doctor entered her year of birth wrong. Still at the vaccination centre I asked them to correct the error. They said they could not & told me to deal with it online. But we are new in France, not yet settled in a particular home & not yet registered on amili.fr. The centre also did not provide any document with a QR code & told me likewise to get that via ameli online. Can I legitimately *insist,* when we go for my teen’s 2nd jab, that we be given documentation with a QR code to be sure she can have her pass sanitaire? Or can a pharmacist or another service help us?

  9. I’m in Paris and I just took my USA vaccine documents (i received my vaccination in the USA) to the local pharmacy near where I am staying and within 10 minutes they downloaded the French Health Pass certificate with the bar code that I scanned into the French Health Pass App (Tous AntiCovid) on my iPhone. Voilà and I am ready to go. Just wish things were so simple in the UK.

    1. Gary can you tell us the location of that pharmacy. I also am having trouble finding a pharmacy that can download the French QR code from a US CDC vaccination record. Thank you!

  10. Will the pharmacies at CDG give vaccine passports to incoming tourists? I have a long layover at Roissy and would love to get my CDC certificate converted before I get on my train….

  11. Does anyone know of a willing pharmacy in or near 16e arrondissement? We tried 7 or 8 yesterday and all of them said it was not possible or they did not know how. I showed the the article but they said it is not so.

  12. I have been asked which pharmacy I went to to get my Health Passport. The place I went to is a pharmacy near Rue Saint-Maur called Pharmacy Gardette at Avenue Parmentier and Rue Général Renault. A friend of mine here in France who just also got his in Nice told me that pharmacies were instructed to no longer accept the USA vaccination document for the French Health Passport. I don’t know if that is the case. Perhaps I and my friend were lucky and got ours before the window closed.

  13. If all else fails, you should be able to get the QR code by testing every 2 days. We were able to get a test for our return to the U.S. for 25 euros in a pharmacy that we were passing by and received our results in 30 minutes, enough time to get a quick bite to eat and return for the paperwork. The QR code from a negative test is good for 48 hours. It’s not ideal but it will do and it’s easier to get a test in France for an American than it is for an American in America.

  14. I was able to get an official pass sanitaire on 24 July at the British-American pharmacy at 1 rue Auber next to the Hotel Intercontinental near Opera for €20. They only needed my US passport and my CDC card. I don’t know if they are still doing it.
    Although the official pass sanitaire* is supposedly required (since 21 July) for museums, movie theaters, monuments (Eiffel Tower) and the like, enforcement seems to be spotty. Some people have reported getting admitted with the CDC card only, others have reported being turned away. Your mileage may vary.
    The requirement to have an official pass sanitaire* to enter restaurants (including outdoor terraces) and bars seems to have been delayed from 1 August to 9 August.
    An in-person stop at the official Paris Visitors Bureau at Hôtel de Ville (Paris city hall) is a good resource.
    Hope this helps.
    *Note: A negative PCR or antigen test no more than 48 hours old also works, and there are a couple of more esoteric exceptions as well.

  15. On July 27, I entered a pharmacie in Reims and asked if i could receive a Pass Sanitaire using my American vaccine card. They said yes and while processing asked for my phone number, email and local address, and nothing more, no fee. Ten minutes later they printed a paper pass with a QR code for me, that I used to create a digital pass on the TousAntiCovid app. I’d be surprised if the country reversed that decision in the last couple days. I recommend people try, and try again at another pharmacie if necessary.

  16. In Paris at the Hotel Dieu, they are setup to convert the American CDC card into the French QR code and form. I suggest anyone in Paris to go by there and get it done, was about a 15 minute wait yesterday morning. Just go into the entrance on the south side facing the square in front of Notre Dame and they do it in a room to the side of the entrance.

  17. I was successful (after some initial resistance) at a large pharmacy in Nice, and I do not have a social security number. My brother went 2 days later to the same pharmacy and they said the system wouldn’t allow it without a social security number. I think it is a real gamble about who you get on the day. Friends of mine who own a small restaurant are panicked as most of their custom comes from Americans and they are concerned about fines if they accept the paper cards. In general, everyone could benefit from a bit more clarity but we’re getting there slowly.

  18. I am in Pau and was vaccinated on New York NO PHARMACY in the area is able to do anything for me. My Doctor here tried he is unable to do anything without a french Social Security number. I went to the vaccination center they could do nothing. This afternoon I went to the french social security insurance offices here they said they have no way to convert or issue me a QR code that will function in France.

    This afternoon I showed my USA CDC vaccination card in a cafe and the guy said fine. I’m not sure if when ( and if ) I am
    Controlled by the police they will agree!!!!

    I imagine at the weekly Farmers market there will be police checking all the cafes. I’ll post something over the weekend as to whether or not I was allowed and or fined !!!

  19. I flew into Paris from San Francisco on August 11th (12th when I got in).

    I went to several pharmacies and they all told me that as of the 10th, they were no longer allowed to give me a French QR code for my American CDC vaccination card. Following advice from someone I met on the flight, I went to the Hotel Dieu next to Notre Dame and asked them, and they said that they, also, were no longer allowed to do the exhange. However, they said they could give me a test for free, so I did that, and used that since I got here (though it will expire after 72 hours).

    I also sent my documents to the email address given above, and received back an automatic reply saying they had received my documents and not to write to them again, they would get back to me.

    I emailed the documents on Tuesday, and it is now Friday, and haven’t heard back from them. So either they are not processing these documents, or they are just very very slow in doing so.

    I hope I get a response from them soon, otherwise I’ll have to keep getting tests during my 2 weeks here!

    – Tim

  20. I applied on the 10th with an email of all required documents, although travelling by Eurotunnel not airline so took screenshot of booking (in advance passenger info so had names & dates of birth on). Received an automated reply but as yet no QR code!

  21. I applied on the 10th and never got a response it seems very random. We got here and tried a few pharmacies and they all said they were told to stop doing it. I eventually went to get a test and the pharmacist there knew another pharmacist near by that would do it. She charged €5 per QR code. Hopefully the new systems work better, in the mean time speak french and ask around.

    1. Very frustrating that they tell pharmacists to stop doing it, when the new system hasn’t been available in time for people who are traveling soon (like in 2 days!). Like you, we applied on the 10th but have heard nothing since.

      1. Try applying again tomorrow when you are within the window of time they are dealing with and see what happens. My neighbour’s sister got it very quickly by applying just before she went to France. She didn’t plan it that way – she is totally disorganised but it seemed to work to her benefit!

    1. The “new” system since wednesday doesnt work either. One has to be a french citizen and mine was rejected this morning.
      Basically there is no method to get one as far as I can tell. We are supposed to just get tested every 2 or 3 days it seems.

      1. Came here to say the same – this “new” online system only works for French citizens living abroad. Mine was rejected today as well, saying I needed instead to send the information by email to the government address the Local published last week. Which I did in the 10th and still no response after 10 days! I guess we are going to try using our cards and then see if we can get by. If not, then we will get tested every 3 days as others have suggested. How frustrating all around – the French for having such inefficient processes, the US for not thinking ahead and including a QC on their certificates (and for not playing nicely in the sandbox with everyone else), and the Local for giving out bad information.

  22. I applied on 11th August via the email process for conversion of our Scottish Vaccine Certificates (as we don’t have the app that NHS England and Wales have!) and got an automatic receipt saying they are very busy and don’t apply again. I have heard nothing since.

    When The Local said we could apply via the online system designed for French people vaccinated elsewhere I applied via this route on 20th August. Both myself and my partner received email responses with an ‘allocated number’ which seemed promising but have heard nothing since! It seems perhaps that we might just be ignored as the most recently updated article here is now saying we aren’t actually eligible to apply that way after all. Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming the very helpful people who write all these articles at The Local as it is clearly a moveable feast!

    Let’s hope this is sorted before we travel to France in less than 3 weeks!

    1. We did the same as live in Scotland. Have received a reply from the online application stating it’s only for French nationals. The email had a link with information regarding the email application method which I have done for us again! Still no response. I’m beginning to think all the emails are being ignored. None of it is easy as all application forms & info is only in French.

      1. I am now wondering if we are all applying too early as it says at the moment you can only apply if you are in France or travelling there up until 26th August – today’s date!
        My neighbour’s sister apparently applied a couple of days before she travelled and was sent a QR code before she got to France!
        I can’t decide whether they might process my original application once we are in the appropriate time window for travel on 10th September I am going to check tomorrow to see what ‘end date’ they give for applications they will allegedly process! When it is on or after 10th September I will wait a day or so to see if they grant me a code and if not I will submit another application!

  23. Forgot to mention the link given by gpierce (below) was for a form similar to the one I applied with (along with supporting documents) on 11th August and have had no response from!

  24. My husband and I applied using the same form which gpierce posted above. I received an email within 48 hours telling me that they are too busy and I need to go to à pharmacie, get tested and can receive a QR code valid for 72 hours. How helpful….My husband has not received any reply after 10 days and I don’t expect he will. It’s quite frustrating.

  25. Would be really interested in the Admin response here

    Is there any mechanism at all to convert non EU vaccines for those who live in France but who are not french?

    We live in France, British passport, vaccinated in UAE ( where we used to live) now resident in France.

    WE applied using an overseas address in UK and exit travel tickets to the UK- but now we cannot travel to the UK as our vaccines are not recognised there meaning we are treated by UK as unvaccinated. Also applied using site which we now see works only for french nationals. They told me to reapply after two weeks by email. Still nothing.

    The only way people seem to have had success is if they apply before getting to France ( our daughter did this and got her french QR within 5 minutes)- but please correct me if I am wrong?

    Did i also read that the application process by email only runs in August anyway?
    Have we really got to get re vaccinated to get an EU QR code – which seems ridiculous, potentially dangerous and criminally wasteful?

    Thanks Nikki

    1. ok there is new online system

      Depuis le 27 août, les demandes de QR code se font en ligne.
      Pour les ressortissants étrangers, hors étudiants : https://www.demarches-simplifiees.fr/commencer/passe-sanitaire-etrangers
      Pour les étudiants étrangers : https://www.demarches-simplifiees.fr/commencer/passe-sanitaire-etudiants

      Since August 27, the requests for QR code are made online.
      For foreign nationals, except students: https://www.demarches-simplifiees.fr/commencer/passe-sanitaire-etrangers
      For foreign students: : https://www.demarches-simplifiees.fr/commencer/passe-sanitaire-etudiants

      Reply moderated
  26. Hi there. I applied yesterday evening, and I received the QR documents within 30 minutes. Downloaded TousCovid app, scanned the bar-code and within a few seconds I have the mobile app. Astounding. Grateful.

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STRIKES

Trains, ferries and schools: What to expect from France’s ‘general strike’ on Thursday

Unions are calling for a 'general strike' in France this week, demanding wage increases to cope with the cost of living. Here's how the strike action will affect services.

Trains, ferries and schools: What to expect from France's 'general strike' on Thursday

What are the demands?

The inter-union group that is organising the strike is calling for salaries to be indexed at a rate of at least 10 percent for civil servants. The government previously increased the rate by 3.5 percent, but unions say that this “falls short of the urgent need to raise all salaries” and “preserve living conditions of all.” 

As the mobilisation is across several sectors, there are more specific demands within each field, but most return to the question of the cost of living crisis.

When and where will mobilisation take place?

Industrial action will take place across the country on Thursday, September 29th.

How widespread will the mobilisation be?

The impact of French strikes all depends on one thing – union solidarity. 

There are many different unions in France and even within a single profession – for example train drivers – there are often five or six different unions representing staff. It’s only when all or most of the unions agree to strike on the same day that we usually see major disruption of the kind that brought transport in the country to a standstill in late 2019.

The unions participating in Thursday’s action are; CGT, Solidaries and FSU.

There will also be notable absences, including the union FO (Force Ouvrière) who said they are not interested in marching alongside political parties. The union Unsa will also not take place in industrial action this Thursday. 

France’s largest union the CFDT will also be absent, with the head of the union, Laurent Berger, telling AFP: “Who is going to believe that it is because you are all going to demonstrate together in Paris that this is going to settle the question (of wages)? It is company by company, professional branch by professional branch that we must act.”

This suggests that disruption will be more limited, although it’s likely that some services will be worse-hit than others.

Which sectors will be impacted?

The industrial action will primarily impact a few sectors, such as transport, education, and civil servants. 

Transport

SNCF – Railway unions are calling on SNCF employees to take part in the strike, which is likely to mean that some services will be cancelled. Train traffic forecasts (TGV, Ouigo, TER, Intercité, Transilien and international lines) will be available 24 hours before the strike. 

Urban transport – City transport networks (buses, streetcars, metros) could be impacted both by striking drivers and by route detours linked to demonstrations. To know the traffic forecasts, check the website of your transport service.

Paris – As for Paris public transport operator RATP, workers represented by the CGT union will take part in the strike, although workers represented by other unions will not. On September 19th, CGT RATP published a strike notice that “covers all staff in all categories and in all services from Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at 10 pm until Friday, September 30th 2022 at 7 am.” RATP will publish a revised strike timetable 24 hours before the strike.

Truck drivers –  Some truck drivers will stop work. The road transport federation of SUD Solidaires is calling on its members and truck drivers to join Thursday’s actions. However, it should be noted that the SUD Solidaires union does not have a majority in the “road haulage collective agreement” and is not part of the mandatory annual negotiations.

Maritime traffic – The CGT national federation of ports and docks is calling for a four-hour work stoppage. The hours will vary from port to port. In Marseille, for example, workers will walk out from 9 am to 1 pm, thus maritime traffic could be impacted. Ferry passengers should check with their operator.

Education

Several teachers’ unions (SNES FSU, SNUipp-FSU, SUD Education) have published strike notices on their websites.

For pre-schools (maternelles) and primary schools, teachers must declare themselves as strikers ahead of time, so parents should be aware prior to Thursday. In each case, parents will be contacted by the school if classes are going to be closed. 

Extracurricular activities, cafeterias and crèches – Services managed by the cities such as school cafeterias, extracurricular activities and day care centres could also be impacted, as civil servants represented by the three unions listed above were called to mobilise. To know the disruptions that will impact you or your child specifically, you can contact your local mairie (city hall).

Public servants

Civil servants (fonctionnaires) were called to participate in the strike, which could have an impact on some public services. Healthcare workers are also staging industrial action, although in their case this will involve demonstrations rather than walking out of work. 

Refinery workers 

Finally, some refinery workers employed by TotalEnergies will walk out on Thursday, as they seek salary increases, as well as the “unfreezing of hiring” and “a massive investment plan” in France. 

They will also be staging a blockade at certain refineries to prevent fuel leaving – the main sites to be affected will be the La Mède biorefinery (Bouches-du-Rhône), the Normandy refinery in Le Havre, Donges (Loire-Atlantique), Carling (Moselle), Feyzin (Rhône) and Oudalle (Seine-Maritime), as well as the fuel depots in Grandpuits (Seine-et-Marne) and Flandres (Nord).

Demonstrations

On Thursday there will also be marches and demos held in around 200 towns and cities in France.

The largest is likely to be in Paris, where between 3,000 and 6,000 demonstrators are expected in the march which sets off at 2pm from Denfert-Rochereau in the direction of Bastille. 

Other strike days coming up 

On October 16th, the leftist party La France Insoumise has called on all political and trade union forces on the left to mobilise. However, as of September 27th, CGT said it would not participate in such action.

Additionally, there have been calls for industrial action in the early childhood (nurseries) sector scheduled for October 6th.

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