Following the announcement of president Emmanuel Macron that Covid vaccine booster shots will be linked to the health pass for the first time, the government has confirmed that passes will be automatically deactivated for over 65s who are eligible for the booster but don’t get it.
Government spokesman Gabriel Attal announced more details of the new rules on Wednesday.
He told France Info that from December 15th, health pass codes will automatically be deactivated for all over 65s six months and five weeks after their last vaccine shot.
The booster is only available six months after a second dose of the injection, so this gives over 65s just five weeks to get their booster, or risk their health pass being deactivated.
But it does mean that over 65s who are not yet eligible under the six-month limit will be able to keep their pass until they become eligible.
Other groups are currently eligible for the booster – including those with health conditions and health workers – but their pass will continue working even if they do not take up the offer of a booster.
From the beginning of December, over 50s will also be eligible, but for the moment their pass will not be affected if they do not have the booster.
The French health pass is required to enter a wide range of venues including bars, cafés, restaurants, leisure centres and long-distance train travel. It requires either proof of recent recovery from Covid, a negative Covid test no more than 72 hours old or a vaccination certificate.
The pass can be shown either on paper or on the TousAntiCovid app, and requires a QR code which is scanned by staff at health pass venues.
On receiving a booster shot, people are given a third vaccination certificate with a code, which is scanned into the app to create a ‘fully vaccinated’ profile.
Those who re not counted as fully vaccinated are left with the option of either taking regular Covid tests, at a cost of €22 each, or avoiding health pass venues, which encompass most leisure activities.