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POLITICS

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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POLICE

France proposes getting rid of penalties for ‘minor’ speeding offences

The French government is considering changing speeding laws so that drivers will not lose points on their licence if they are caught going just a few kilometres over the speed limit.

France proposes getting rid of penalties for 'minor' speeding offences

France’s Interior Ministry is considering changing its current rules for minor speeding violations – proposing getting rid of the penalty for drivers who only violate the rule by going just a few kilometres over the speed limit.

The Ministry has not laid out a timeline for when this could come into effect, but they said they are currently in the preliminary stages of studying how the change could be carried out.

“The fine of course remains,” said the Interior Ministry to French daily Le Parisien.

That is to say you can still be fined for going five kilometres over the speed limit, but there might not be any more lost points for driving a couple kilometres over the posted limit. 

READ ALSO These are the offences that can cost you points on your driving licence

Of the 13 million speeding tickets issued each year in France, 58 percent are for speeding violations of less than 5 km per hour over the limit, with many coming from automated radar machines.

How does the current rule work?

The rule itself is already a bit flexible, depending on where the speeding violation occurs.

If the violation happens in an urban area or low-speed zone (under 50 km per hour limit), then it is considered a 4th class offence, which involves a fixed fine of €135. Drivers can also lose a point on their licences as a penalty for this offence. 

Whereas, on highways and high-speed roads, the consequences of speeding by 5 km per hour are less severe. The offence is only considered 3rd class, which means the fixed fine is €68. There is still the possibility of losing a point on your licence, however. 

How do people feel about this?

Pierre Chasseray, a representative from the organisation “40 Millions d’Automobilistes,” thinks the government should do away with all penalties for minor speeding offences, including fines. He told French daily Le Parisien that this is only a “first step.”

Meanwhile, others are concerned that the move to get rid of points-deductions could end up encouraging people to speed, as they’ll think there is no longer any consequence.

To avoid being accused of carelessness, France’s Interior Ministry is also promising to become “firmer” with regards to people who use other people’s licences in order to get out of losing points – say by sending their spouse’s or grandmother’s instead of their own after being caught speeding. The Interior Ministry plans to digitalise license and registration in an effort to combat this. 

Ultimately, if you are worried about running out of points on your licence, there are still ways to recover them.

You can recover your points after six months of driving without committing any other offences, and there are also awareness training courses that allow you to gain your points back. It should be noted, however, that these trainings typically cost between €150 and €250, and they do not allow you to regain more than four points.

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