“We count 800,000 people who still need to get a booster dose to hold on to their health pass,” health minister Olivier Véran told a press conference – although he conceded that this figure was “probably overestimated” and “the upper limit”.
On Saturday, January 15th new rules come into force meaning that everyone over the age of 18 who has not received a booster dose within seven months of completing a full Covid vaccination course (a double dose of AstraZeneca/Pfizer/Moderna vaccine) will have their health passes deactivated.
These rules are already in place for people over the age of 65, while those who were vaccinated with the single-dose Janssen vaccine face a two month deadline to receive a booster before their health passes are deactivated.
The health pass is used in France to gain access to a wide range of public venues like restaurants, bars, museums, cinemas and some large outdoor events – excluding political rallies.
In order to keep their health passes active, people must upload either a vaccination certificate from their booster shot or – if they have recently had Covid – a positive test result to the Tous Anti Covid app.
A paper version of these documents can also be presented at health pass venues.
Véran said that the government does not have figures for the percentage of those who are using proof as recovery from Covid as a means to use the health pass and have received a booster dose – this is the apparent reason that there is some doubt over the true number of people who will see their health passes deactivated.
Currently, positive antigen or PCR tests that are between 11 days and six months old can be used instead of a vaccination certificate. Three months after testing positive for Covid, you are eligible to receive a booster shot.
Tourists, visitors and people vaccinated outside France will also require a booster to be able to use the health pass. You can read more about that HERE.
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How will I know if my health pass will be deactivated?
The easiest way to see if your health pass will be deactivated is to use the TousAntiCovid app – those who do so will receive an on-screen notification if their pass is set to expire.
You can also double-check by clicking on the “Ouvrir mon carnet” or “Open my wallet” section of the app. If your pass is set to expire, your most recent in-app vaccination certificate will carry a yellow warning informing you of the deadline to get your booster dose.
There is also an online simulator to tell you when your health pass will be deactivated – this is particularly useful for people who do not use the TousAntiCovid app.
After you receive a booster, your health pass does not update automatically. It is up to you to scan the QR code on the vaccination certificate into the TousAntiCovid app. If you do not use the app, you will need to carry paper vaccination certificates, including the booster vaccination certificate, to access public venues.
If your health pass is deactivated, it is not the end of the world.
It is possible to reactivate your health pass once you have had the booster dose. If you are over 65, you do not even need to book an appointment to receive your booster. You can simply walk into any vaccination site and you will be given priority treatment.
You can read our guide on how to get a booster dose HERE.
After receiving your booster dose, you will get a new vaccination certificate and you simply scan this into TousAntiCovid to reactivate the app.
If you do not yet have a French carte vitale, ask at the vaccine centre for a paper copy of the certificate.
The reactivation of the health pass is supposed to be immediate (unless this is only your second shot, in which case you must wait seven days). But because of a computer error, a small minority of people who receive their booster dose may also have to wait seven days before the TousAntiCovid app recognises their new vaccination status.
If this is the case for you, you can still show paper proof of your first two jabs and booster jab which will permit you access to any health pass venue.
Further upcoming changes
February 15th, anyone over 18 will have to receive a booster dose within four months for their pass to remain active.
The French government is also pushing to introduce a vaccine pass which means a negative test result would no longer be accepted as a means to access venues where the health pass is currently applied. Full vaccination with a booster dose will be required to gain entry to these venues.