LATEST: France announces online system for non-EU tourists to access health passports

LATEST: France announces online system for non-EU tourists to access health passports
A passenger shows her Covid-19 health pass on a mobile phone and her train ticket at Lyon rail station in Paris. Photo: GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP.
The French government has moved online the system for people vaccinated outside the EU to access the QR codes needed for the French health passport - now required to access bars, cafés, tourist sites and long-distance travel.

Since the beginning of August the health passport – showing proof of either vaccination, a negative Covid test or recent recovery from Covid – has been required to enter many venues in France – full list HERE.

While people vaccinated in the EU have compatible QR codes, and people vaccinated in England and Wales can use the NHS app, things are more complicated for those vaccinated outside Europe.

After a confusing period of several changes to the systems for accessing this, the French government has now opened an online portal for people vaccinated outside the EU to get the crucial codes.

Who is eligible

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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. From September 3rd, Scottish vaccination codes are also compatible – full details 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 Everything tourists need to know about Covid rules and requirements in France

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. We applied on August 28th and finally got our QR code on September 10th. We have been in France since August 30th. We have had no trouble going to restaurants or museums in Paris by simply showing our passport and CDC card. It seems pretty common. So at least for these, it isn’t true that they won’t accept the CDC card. We haven’t taken the long distance trains, so I can’t say how that works. We decided to risk it without the French Passe Sanitaire and it was fine. Though it is easier to just show the QR code than explaining the CDC card.

  2. Applied for QR code under new system on August 30. No response yet— file not yet reviewed. Wondering if we would be wise to cancel trip. We leave in 2 days and are planning to be in France for a month. Does anyone know what is going on with this system lately and if we will be able to eat in Paris and countryside now without codes?

  3. Virus – Vaccine – Digital QR ID to live a ‘normal life’ – Central Bank Digital Currencies linked to digital ID – The state overseeing your every move/purchase – The state deciding whether to allow you access/make a purchase or what to put in your body to keep your passes valid

    No no, that’s just silly, of course, they’re just concerned with everyone’s safety.

  4. The new online form seems to have some formatting issues. Hopefully they will correct them. The date formats are not consistent and I was unable to put in the location of my vaccine. When I sent an email to the “help” desk, I received an email stating that they have too many applications to process and cannot guarantee that they will be processed in time. The email stated that I can go to pharmacy and get a test every two days instead. Still going to France in October…somehow this will all work out.

  5. Don’t waste your time with the online application. My husband and I both applied the day after they opened the online process. We got emails acknowledging the receipt of the application the same day. This morning (so a week later) my husband got an email saying that there were too many applications and they would not process his application. I haven’t heard anything yet, but assume the same. But it really doesn’t matter. At least in Paris. We have been here for almost a week. We show our passport and CDC card. (US) And it has been no problem at restaurants and museums. It helps a bit if you point to where it shows the type of vaccine on the CDC card. So no need for the negative test. We have heard that some busy bars at night only want to deal with the Passe Sanitaire. So maybe if that is your scene, you might want to get the test. But I would test it out first. I am guessing France has decided not to put any resources on this because despite what they say, for US folks at least, it doesn’t seem to be necessary. They want you to prove you are vaccinated and we can do that with the CDC card.

    1. Have you used any trains to get anywhere? I am concerned that if I do not have the code prior to leaving that I will not be able to use the transit.

  6. Can you tell me about whether you have tried this to get on trains? I am going in October and have to take a train to get to my destination. I have applied for the Code but have no idea if we will get it or not before we leave.

  7. Hi Dan
    Thanks for your comments. I had a feeling when I made that post I may have been off in the timing and version. It turns out that we both used the first version of the process. It was about 7- 10 days after I sent my app in (and got the auto response to wait and be patient) that my wife sent hers in and got her certificate 30 mins later. I resent mine, despite being told not to in the auto response, and I got my cert about 30 minutes later. Even though we both have our certificates we both got mail today saying “We’ve had so many applications that we will not be able to process them all.” Guess we got lucky with the timing. Thanks again for calling me out so I could correct my facts.

  8. Hey Ron — thks for commenting. I may be missing something cause I don’t get it — your cmmts for The Local are dated Sept 1 and the new system (Version 2, I assume) came into effect August 27, 3-4 days before your cmmts. Yet your wife sent in her application abt 10 days after you did? And you both recd the QR code 30 minutes after submitting or resubmitting in your case. That’s too amazing! I know six people who submitted theirs at various times on Sept 1 and 2 and none of us has heard back. Including one who’s been in France for two days now–me! Dan D

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