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

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.

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.

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

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. I was vaccinated in New Zealand and am resident in France. I have tried doctors, pharmacies and a vaccination centre; none of whom will recognise or convert my paper certificate. The NZ embassy states they are waiting for the French government to announce a system but this doesn’t cover my situation – I can’t be the only one!

  2. As an American, I appreciate your coverage of passe sanitaire application process. We are due to arrive August 23.
    I wonder if the online application is only available for arrivals until August 15 so that the system is not overwhelmed with applications all at once? Perhaps the French plan a rolling 7 day in advance of arrival process? Or would that be too logical?

    1. I don’t think there is ANY planned timing. I understand the pass sanitaire will be required into mid November. But then things could change !

  3. Does anyone know how long the wait time is for the “pass sanitaire” after application has been received? Meantime, will your existing proof of vaccination ( N. I. COVIDCert) be acceptable? We applied on 9th August as soon as the online process opened and have only received acknowledgement email – are we being too optimistic?

      1. My understanding from friends here in Pau on vacation from Abu Dhabi the vaccine they received in the beginning was the Chinese and the European community is not recognizing it. So they flew into Spain and rented a car and drove here. I haven’t heard if they were able
        To get french citizen conversion QR code’s yet
        I have had no issues YET presenting my USA vaccine card ( Pfizer ) while
        Waiting for my QR code ( I only
        Applied on Thursday evening )
        I imagine it will take at least 7~10 days as this is the last big Holiday weekend in France and I’m sure all government offices were on reduced staff or closed until this coming week
        I would ask the cafe or restaurant you want to go to if they will accept your vaccination cards

        1. Yes – it seems to be a slow process, not helped by holiday weekend.
          I haven’t tried to use our NI vaccine certificates yet but hopefully will on Monday as we are booked into a restaurant for lunch so – fingers crossed!!
          Thought I would also bring a printout of the confirmation email saying we had applied for pass – not sure if that might help.

  4. I just sent in my
    Completed form and documents and have received an acknowledgment if reciept. I’ll post how long it takes when I have my vaccination card conversion QR code for france !
    Any Americans who need help let me know

    1. We applied to convert as soon as we read the article . Acknowledgement e-mail for me ( but not for my husband ) saying it will be processed but not to email again. Nothing since .
      Anyone followed this procedure successfully ?
      Visiting daughter from U.K. can go into cafes and restaurants etc while we cannot . Looks like she will be having a birthday dinner alone !

  5. Since the jab doesn’t stop transmission ( to the unjabbed or jabbed ) I don’t understand why any tourism is being encouraged at all.

  6. To all,
    I filled out the form and emailed it in a week and a half ago. I got the confirmation of receipt and that’s it. Now I’m here in Paris and I tried going to the Hotel Dieu Hôpital, and I was told they don’t transfer it over to the French certificate any more. So if anyone knows some other place to try please let me know. Otherwise I’ll just be going from pharmacy to pharmacy.

  7. I have just completed the new online application. It’s only in French so be ready with your Google translate! Also it does not ask for any travel tickets but you do need to upload proof of address ie gas/electric bill. I had to use a bank statement as all my utility bills are online so hoping that’s sufficient! Apparently can take 3 days to process so now to wait…….

  8. Hello All,

    I complete the application twice. Both rejected and the reason was that this application is only for French people who resides outside of France. The application is only in French language and does not require returning plane tickets.

    1. Mines not been rejected, it has a drop down menu for country of residence (Royaume-Uni…UK) & I clicked on the Zone Europe which covers Scotland. So fingers crossed!

      1. Tried to do this for my parents visiting from the United States – rejected.

        ” We are sorry, your file was unfortunately refused.

        Reason for refusal

        Hello, We acknowledge receipt of your health pass request. However, we cannot respond favorably because this platform is intended for French nationals and their beneficiaries (children, or spouses married or in a civil partnership with a French national) residing outside French territory. More information is available at the following address: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/le-ministere-et-son-reseau/actualites-du-ministere/informations-coronavirus-covid-19/ request-for-sanitary-pass-in-case-of-vaccination-al-etranger-procedure-pour-64244 / For more information, please contact [email protected] . Cordially,”

  9. To all,
    Just a quick update. I just went to the Pharmacy right down the street from my hotel, and got my pass sanitaire. It was the first one I went to, it took 10 mins, they knew what to do, and it was free. It took no convincing, I actually went there to pick up some things (toothbrush, etc) thinking it was very unlikely they would do it, and just asked if they did it and they said yes. I’m in the 19th Arrd right now. Next time I go out I will get the address and post.

    1. Hi Ken – thanks for posting this, it’s very helpful. If you don’t mind me asking where were you vaccinated? I had mine in New Zealand and so far have not found anywhere willing to convert it (pharmacies, doctors, vaccination centres). The previous emailing system required returning plane tickets and the new one requires proof of residency which I am still waiting to receive. At this point I’m considering having third and fourth doses – seems much more straightforward!

      1. This is an interesting point I hadn’t considered. I was vaccinated in April with Pfizer which studies are now saying is less effective against the new variants after 4-5 months. I am interested in a Modderna booster, but going through the whole cycle here is probably easier than continuing to rage against the bureaucracy.
        Thank you for posting.

  10. I’m American living in France and vaccinated in the US back in April. I submitted everything required with a short explanation (in French) and was refused within seconds of submission. Are they only accepting applications from French Citizens living abroad ?

  11. I just received my QR code from the area1… application I sent last week right when that was announced (tuesday the 10th). So 1-1/2 weeks to process for me. The most recent annoncement is for french citisens only (so it was rejected today). The info in The Local article is wrong I believe.

    1. ok thanks for the info. I sent in the Area1 application on Monday and assumed that I would never hear from them again. I’ll watch for something to arrive next week though.

    2. Yes, the information in this article is incorrect – I also had my application rejected from the new portal since I’m not a French citizen… Still waiting for a response to the area1 email which I also sent on August 10th.

      Does anyone know of a pharmacie near Gare Montparnasse that is willing to do the conversion?

  12. The website referenced “here” in the article is for French nationals only. My submission as an American citizen was refused with a return message that basically said to use the old way which we did on Aug 11 and have heard nothing about since.

  13. We applied on this new site. In less than 24 hours, we received a refusal for the passe. The reason given was because the site is only for French citizens.

  14. I was refused in 24 hours because the site you reference is for Fench nationals only. I sent to Area1 on Aug 16, now aug 20. Heard nothing
    yet.

  15. Anyone know of a pharmacy or location in the 7th that will convert US Vaccine’s cards to a QR code? Thanks!

  16. This advice is wrong – the site noted is for French nationals only. The application will be refused.

  17. Applied on August 11 by email to have the CDC card converted, receipt acknowledged. Nothing since. Flying to France on Sunday. I tried today to do the online method, and discovered what everyone else did…. this is only for French citizens. The interesting part is that they responded to me within minutes, and even chatted with me back and forth online about it. So from what I can tell, there is an efficient system…. we just aren’t allowed to use it yet.

  18. For what it’s worth, my wife and I have been in France since Aug 2. On Aug 11 we applied for the QR code (American citizens process) and were acknowledged while receiving nothing since, i.e. no QR code. Early on in Paris, we were asked to show our CDC shot record often. The longer we stay, traveling around the south of France, the less we are asked to show it or if we do the CDC shot card is accepted. In other words, it doesn’t seem to be much of an issue….so far. We did go to Disneyland and showed our shot record often. No problems. No denials anywhere. The only place we were denied entry was a restaurant chain where the food wasn’t very good anyway. (My kids were starving but then we found a fantastic Italian food place.) In summary, we would like to have the code, but it hasn’t really restricted our activites much at all.

      1. I got mine in one day, the first day of the new program, but my husband who applied the same day did not, and his CDC card has been taken again and again in Paris.

  19. Use links from U.S. Embassy Paris page. The form has a tech issue where you type your email. We ended up pasting our email in. Make sure you follow the instructions or it won’t be processed. We applied on Thursday and our digital certificates were in our in-box this morning (Tuesday). We leave for France next week so it appears they are processing those requests that are a week to 10 days out. We never received an email blast stating that our forms had been received though like others have stated.

  20. I sent my application to [email protected] (for the USA) on August 10, 2021 and I have a flight scheduled from USA to CDG on September 5. I received an automated email confirmation the same day saying, “Nous avons bien reçu votre demande qui sera traitée dans les meilleurs délais. Nous vous remercions de ne pas la renouveler et de ne pas envoyer des relances à cette adresse afin d’éviter de saturer le dispositif.” I have not received any further communications since August 10.

    1. They prioritized people already here in France plus coming during August so hopefully you’ll get yours soon.

    2. Agree with layerlady. Since you leave on the 5th, hopefully you will receive by Wednesday of next week. Please update us on if you receive.

      1. I will definitely let everyone know when/if I receive anything. Nothing yet as of August 27, but I think lawyerlady is correct that they prioritized people traveling sooner.

    3. I received my “EU Digital COVID Certificate” (passe sanitaire) today (2021-08-31) after applying on 2021-08-10. My flight from USA to France is scheduled for 2021-09-05, so I am optimistic that I will not have any problems traveling. Good luck to everyone, and please let me know (reply) if you have any questions.

  21. It looks like US and Canadian citizens now must file on line, not by email. I tried to do it by email today 8/28 and got a notice that starting 8/27 the request must be made online. Here is the response we got:

    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 \

    I was able to set up an online account and resubmitted the request. I got a confirmation back that it went through. we will see what happens and how long this takes.

  22. Truly appalling service. Submitted all of the documents for a visiting Canadian friend, as directed above early last Monday. Acknowledgement received but nothing since. Given that few North Americans stay longer than two weeks, this service isn’t fit for purpose.

    1. An update to my original comment. My friend who has now been with us for two weeks received this email just this afternoon, 11 full days after making her application:

      “Dear Sir or Madam,

      We are sorry to inform you that we are currently receiving a very large number of requests and will not be able to process them all.

      We remind you that a negative result of an antigen test taken at a pharmacy, available all over France, grants the user a health pass that is valid for three days (72 hours).

      We inform you that a new application is available online for foreign citizens except students : https://www.demarches-simplifiees.fr/commencer/passe-sanitaire-etrangers

      and following this link for students : https://www.demarches-simplifiees.fr/commencer/passe-sanitaire-etudiants

      This is just ridiculous!

  23. I actually applied twice by email – once on 10th August and then on 22nd August when I realised I should have provided my French address & not U.K. one! Apart from automated reply, nothing since.
    However, I then discovered last week that the Northern Ireland QR could now be scanned on to the TousAntiCovid app – success at last!
    I have used it successfully – just do not understand why the whole process has taken so long and why the info for applying keeps changing.

  24. I actually found the system (version 2) worked well…after a while. I first applied the day after it was announced; I got an automated message saying they had received my application and asking me to be patient. After 10 days or so my wife sent her application in and she had the certificate 30 minutes later. I resubmitted mine and got my certificate 30 minutes later.

    1. 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

      1. 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.

  25. I applied on August 12 and have no response. I used the “new “ method yesterday and received an email saying they have too many applications and will not fill them all. They suggested getting tested at a pharmacy every three days! They need to get their act together. If you require this pass then it should be obtainable in a reasonable timeframe.

    1. That’s my experience as well. This is what they said: “Dear Sir or Madam,

      We are sorry to inform you that we are currently receiving a very large number of requests and will not be able to process them all.
      We remind you that a negative result of an antigen test taken at a pharmacy, available all over France, grants the user a health pass that is valid for three days (72 hours).

      We inform you that a new application is available online for foreign citizens except students : https://www.demarches-simplifiees.fr/commencer/passe-sanitaire-etrangers
      and following this link for students : https://www.demarches-simplifiees.fr/commencer/passe-sanitaire-etudiants” As a fellow reader remarked, I am beyond annoyed.

    2. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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?

  30. 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.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.

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