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A step-by-step guide to getting the French health passport

A step-by-step guide to getting the French health passport
Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP
If you are planning a visit to France - or if you're already here and have been putting off dealing with the admin - you will need a health passport if you're planning on visiting bars, cafés, shopping centres or tourist sites. So here is a step-by-step guide to getting the passport.

What is it?

Although it is referred to as a pass sanitaire (health passport) the pass is not actually a separate document.

A health passport venue is one that requires one of three things to enter;

  • Proof of being fully vaccinated
  • Proof of a negative Covid test taken within the previous 72 hours
  • Proof of having recovered from Covid within the past 6 months

You can present your proof either on paper or via the TousAntiCovid app (more on that below).

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What proof is accepted?

For vaccinated people, you need to show proof that you are fully vaccinated, at least 7 days after your second or final dose and vaccinated with an EMA-approved vaccine – Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson (also known as Janssen) or AstraZeneca (including Covishield).

You also need to be sure that your vaccination certificate has a QR code that can be read by the French system.

If you were vaccinated in France, here’s how to check that your code is compatible.

If you were vaccinated in the EU or Schengen zone, use your EU travel code.

If you were vaccinated in England or Wales you can convert your NHS code – click here for details.

If you were vaccinated outside the EU (including Scotland or Northern Ireland) you will need to apply for a French code – find out how here

If you opt for the testing option, you will need to show a test certificate with a QR code.

Your test must have been taken in France, you cannot use pre-departure travel tests from another country.

You can use results from either PCR or antigen tests, but home-test kits are not accepted – click here to find out how to get a test in France.

Your test also needs to be less than 72 hours old, so you will need regular tests if you intend to rely on this during your time in France.

If you have recently recovered from Covid you will need two things – a positive test (either PCR or antigen) that is more than 11 days old but less than 6 months old, plus a negative test dating from after the positive test. If you had Covid but were never tested, then you cannot use this option.

How does the app work?

To provide proof of one of these things, most people find the easiest and most practical option is the TousAntiCovid app. You may already have this – it is the same app as the Covid tracker app, and it also contained permission certificates during the lockdown.

If not, you will need to download it – it’s available for either Android or iPhone in the app store. It’s compatible with non-French phones and it appears in the language that your phone is set to, so if your phone settings are in English you will get an English-language version of the app.

Once the app is installed on your phone, click on ‘Scan a QR code’ and scan the code on your test or vaccination certificate.

If the code will not scan, it’s likely that it is not compatible with the French system, so follow the links above depending on the country where you were vaccinated. Some countries have only recently updated their codes to be EU-compatible, so you may need to download your certificate again to get a code that works with the French app.

If you have two codes on vaccination certificates, you want the one that relates to your second or final dose – scanning a code from the first dose only will not prove that you are ‘fully vaccinated’.

Once the code is scanned, head to the ‘my wallet’ section of the app to find it.

Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP

If you have more than one certificate, you can click on the little heart icon in the top right corner to make a certificate your ‘favourite’, which means it will show up as soon as you open the app.

When at a health passport venue, open app the app and show the code to the staff member so they can scan it.

What if I don’t have a smartphone?

It’s not compulsory to use the app, merely practical.

If you don’t have a smartphone you can show your proof on paper, but please note that the paper certificates must also have QR codes so they can be scanned by a staff member – vaccination cards cannot be scanned and need to be swapped for a certificate with a QR code.

Who needs the heath passport?

The health passport is compulsory for all over 18s to access certain venues. From September 30th it will become compulsory for all over 12s.

Is it compulsory to have a health passport in France?

No, the health passport is not compulsory and you can enter the country without one.

However, there are lots of places that you will not be able to visit without one, including bars, restaurants, cafés, cinemas, theatres, galleries and museums, tourist sites, large gatherings such as festivals and shopping centres in certain areas.

You will also need one to travel on a long-distance train or bus or on a domestic flight and to go as a visitor to hospitals or nursing homes.

You can find the full list of health passport venues HERE.

It is illegal for staff to let you in to a designated venue without showing the pass.

READ ALSO How can people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons use the health passport?


Member comments

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  1. https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/coronavirus-advice-for-foreign-nationals-in-france/coronavirus-statements/article/applying-for-a-covid-certificate-if-you-were-vaccinated-abroad-procedure-for

    This is the link for the current info on ‘non-Europeans’ (including Scots!) who want to apply for the health pass. You can only do it if you are currently in France or travelling up until 31st March. It says very clearly:

    This system is only open to non-European tourists who are already in France or who will arrive on or before 31 August 2021. Requests concerning arrival at a later date will be processed later.

    So basically don’t expect a response until your travel date is within the window they say it needs to be in!

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