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France to deactivate health pass for over-65s who don’t get vaccine booster

The French government has announced that health passports will be automatically deactivated for over 65s who don't get a Covid vaccine booster when eligible.

French government spokesman Gabriel Attal clarified the health pass rules
French government spokesman Gabriel Attal clarified the health pass rules. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP

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.

READ ALSO Who gets a Covid vaccine booster in France?

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. 

Member comments

  1. My wife and I got our third dose of Moderna in the U.S. in early September, but AFTER we submitted our paperwork ONLINE to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in August for our Passe Sanitaire. We each eventually received our Passe Sanitaire QR codes (in late September) but presumably they indicate only two doses. Can someone at thelocal.fr please research how we can get our Passe Sanitaire UPDATED to reflect the 3rd dose which is now shown on our CDC Card but not linked to our Passe Sanitaire QR code? I think this will be of use to many Americans who find themselves in this situation or something similar.

  2. Strongly agree with DPainter’s request above. We have the passe sanitaire from September, have since had boosters in the US and do not want to lose our passe as we anticipate returning to France. Merci.

  3. It can be done at pharmacies that administer the vaccine or Covid tests. They won’t know how to do it but they can google it. They will need to enter all the shots by code and location. For the 1 in the usa, they have to enter it as ‘autres’ then manual enter the batch number and set the location as the pharmacy in France that is converting your pass (not the location of your shot). USA codes are not available in the French systèm. This is all possible if the French system is updated to allow the pharmacist to enter the 3rd shot. At the end, they should be allowed to generate a QR which states you have 3 shots.

    1. The problem is I’m not in France right now, but I plan to go in 2022. So I can’t go to a pharmacie now, or for several months, and I’m already more than six months and 5 weeks past my second vaccine. Even though I have had the booster, I don’t know how I can prove that from here and keep my passe from being deactivated.

    2. Does anyone know of a specific pharmacy in Paris that will have experience with updating the Pass Sanitaire information? It would be helpful to have that info instead of bouncing around from pharmacy to pharmacy in hopes of finding someone who can do it.

  4. Hi, Is there any information as to how the UK 3rd booster can be added to the passe sanitaire because
    currently it’s not showing at all on the NHS app?

    1. Yes, this is the case in Scotland too. Booster details are deliberately not added to the section for international travel. Some twisted logic at work. Very short-sighted

  5. “France to deactivate health pass for over-65s “ – does this headline not shock anyone? This is out of some sci-fi horror – if you don’t comply you will be deactivated! How long before you’ll end up being exterminated? It is now established that these vaccines protect the recipient only. Freedom to chose medical interventions is a human right. Study some European history Monsieur Macron.

    1. I find it horrific. However, from the comments here, they will be jostling for the booster; and the next one, and the next. What’s the once proud French slogan… Liberté, égalité, fraternité . Hmmm, but let’s take away the rights of one sector of society. If we picked out any other group in society based on say race, there would be hell, hate speech court cases. I could never understand how propaganda and herd mentality happened in history, I certainly can now.Some of these people advocate doing the police jobs for them, you know Stazi like or worse sending letters and naming and shaming online. Who gave them that right? When will it all end? Now governments world wide have seen they can do this, will we be having ‘identity papers’ for influenza jabs and whatever, every year? People will probably call me a conspiracy theorist or spreading misinformation – but so much of what has come to pass was once put in that category.

  6. My husband had his second vaccine in February, but also tested positive for COVID 19 after visiting the U.K. in August for a family wedding. Recent tests show he has sufficient antibodies against the virus and he has been told he does not need a booster. The doctor has told him to have another antibody check in the new year. After Tuesday’s announcement, he is wondering how he can update his Passe Sanitaire to reflect this situation and is anyone else in a similar situation please?

  7. What about us under 50s who want to get a third dose in France? Would we actually be rejected if we went to a vaccine center here in France in December? I find that hard to believe as well as that it will not become mandatory for everyone if the virus is still strongly circulating next month (which I suspect it will be). I know many under 50s who had their second doses in June …seems more pragmatic to open the boosters to us before the Christmas holidays.

  8. On 12 Nov. my wife and I each successfully updated our passe sanitaire at a pharmacy near our apartment. You can locate a pharmacy that has been designated as a source for the P.S. using https://www.sante.fr/obtenir-un-passe-sanitaire-en-cas-de-vaccination-letranger. The pharmacy simply examined our passports and U.S. CDC cards which showed our 3rd dose information, then entered the information in the “system” and printed us new P.S. documents with our new QR codes. It all worked perfectly and only cost 36 Euros per P.S.

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ENERGY

Cold water, 19C heating and cash bonuses: How France will cut energy use this winter

Lowered heating, speed limits, cash bonuses and lighting cuts - the French government has unveiled its 'energy sobriety' plan to cut France's energy use by 10 percent and avoid blackouts this winter.

Cold water, 19C heating and cash bonuses: How France will cut energy use this winter

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne unveils the long-awaited plan on Thursday, outlining the cuts that will allow France to make it through the winter without Russian gas.

The plan for sobriété enérgetique (energy sobriety) will also become part of France’s longer-term commitment to reducing its energy use by 30 percent by 2030, in order to combat climate change.

The plan is divided into three sections – measures for government offices and public buildings which are compulsory, measures for businesses which are voluntary but which businesses are expected to sign up to on a sector basis and measures that households and private individuals can take, which are entirely voluntary.

A press conference on Thursday afternoon by nine ministers will provide more detail, but here are the headline measures; 

Government

Government officials and politicians are expected to “be exemplary”, which is why you’re likely to see a lot more politicians modelling knitwear this winter, to show how they have turned down their office heating.

Among the measures for government offices are;

Heating – government offices will not be heated to above 19C, lowered to 18C on days when the EcoWatt app (which shows the risk of energy shortages) is on a ‘red’ day – find out how EcoWatt works HERE. The heating will be turned down at night.

Remote working – working from home – télétravail – became a fixture during the pandemic and looks like it might be coming back if you work for the government. Government departments will encourage home-working with an increase in the remote-working allowance for public servants. 

Travel – government agents who need to travel for work should use public transport rather than the car. If this is not possible, they should not exceed 110km/h when driving on the autoroute, in order to save around 20 percent of fuel (emergency workers are exempt from this requirement). These tactics are encouraged – but not compulsory – for private employees and individuals. 

Turn off hot water – office managers are asked to turn off hot water supplies, except when it is essential, such as for showers. Employees will therefore need to wash their hands in cold water, and boil a kettle if they want a tea or coffee. 

Public spaces

Local authorities are also included in the plan, for both their own offices and for the public buildings that they manage, such as swimming pools and leisure centres. Buildings such as hospitals, nursing homes or anywhere that houses vulnerable people are exempt from these measures. 

Pools and gyms – gyms must lower their standard temperatures by 2C, while the water in swimming pools will be 1C colder. 

Lighting – lighting including street lights, lighting of public spaces and illuminating buildings should be reduced by turning off lights earlier, reducing light intensity and switching to LED lights. Many local authorities had already announced cuts to lighting on public buildings, including the city of Paris where the lights on the Eiffel Tower will be turned off one hour earlier.

Sports stadiums – sports clubs – both professional and amateur – are asked to reduce the time that pitches are floodlit and stadiums lit up before and after matches by 50 percent for daytime matches and 30 percent for evening games. 

Offices – local and national government are asked to save office heating by grouping as many offices as possible into a single building. 

Businesses

Businesses are asked to sign up to energy commitments on a voluntary basis. The government is creating a brand called Les entreprises s’engagent (Companies that are committed) that companies who sign up to and implement measures will be awarded. 

Lower office heating – Offices should not be heated to more than 19C and the temperature should be dropped to 16C at night. If the office is to be closed for three days or more, heating should be lowered to 8C while staff are away. Companies are also asked to move by up to 15 days the switch-on and switch-off dates in autumn and spring for heating, although this will depend on the weather. 

Lighting – companies should turn off interior lighting as soon as an office, store or other workplace is closed. Exterior lighting should be reduced, including for advertising, and should be turned off by 1am at the latest. 

Travel – businesses should reduce unnecessary travel by employees and use public transport wherever possible for employees who do have to travel.

Households

These measures are advisory only, but will be accompanied by a publicity campaign – named Chaque geste compte (every action counts) encouraging individuals to do their bit and help to reduce their energy use.

Temperature – lowering the temperature in your home by just 1C can save around seven percent of your energy use. It is recommended to have the living spaces no warmer than 19C, with bedrooms at 17C. This is voluntary, and vulnerable people such as the elderly or those with a disability may need to have the heating at a higher setting.

Appliances – a range of energy-saving tips are suggested, from turning off lights in rooms that are not used to not leaving appliances on standby and unplugging appliances if you are going away. 

Carpooling – in order to encourage car-sharing, there will be bonuses for people who sign up to car-share schemes. 

Cash bonuses – households that manage to reduce their consumption this winter will be in line for a bonus sobriété (sobriety bonus) from their gas or electricity company. Several companies have already announced bonuses of up to €120 for households that make significant cuts.

Heat pumps – homeowners will be able to get grants of up to €9,000 to switch a gas boiler to a heat pump, through the existing Ma PrimeRenov scheme.

Energy forecast – TV channels will start to broadcast the ‘energy forecast’ in a similar way to the weather forecast, showing how high the risk of energy shortages are in the days ahead. 

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