Reader question: What should I do if my French health pass deactivates?

Paris Mayor and French Socialist Party presidential candidate Anne Hidalgo, has her health pass checked.
Paris Mayor and French Socialist Party presidential candidate Anne Hidalgo, has her health pass checked. Here's what to do if yours is deactivated. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)
From January 15th, France will begin deactivating the health passes of adults who have not had a Covid booster - here's what to do if this happens to you.

From Saturday, January 15th, the rules state that people over the age of 18 in France will need to receive a booster dose (for the vast majority of people, this means a third shot), within seven months of their last Covid vaccination, to hold a valid health pass. This has been the case for over 65s for the past month.

These rules also apply to any tourists, visitors or people vaccinated outside France who wish to use the health pass

From February 15th, the deadline to receive the booster is lowered from seven months to four months.

Those that fail to receive a booster dose will have their health pass deactivated. When this happens, you will no longer be able to use your health pass to access venues like bars, restaurants, tourists sites and cinemas – you will also be temporarily barred from using long-distance trains. 

Fortunately, it is very easy to reactivate your health pass. 

If you have already had the booster or tested positive in the last six months, simply upload the relevant certificate to the TousAntiCovid app.

You can do this by opening the app, clicking the “scanner un QR code” or “scan a QR code” button, and then pointing the phone’s camera at the QR code on your vaccination certificate or positive test result. 

You can carry on using the health pass for a six month period following a positive test. For two months following infection, you will not receive contact case alerts on your phone if you have come into contact with an infected person, because you are not considered to be at risk. 

Some vaccination sites no longer hand out vaccination certificates routinely, instead submitting information about your status to Assurance Maladie. If this is the case, you must download the certificate from the Ameli site to receive the QR code, which can then be scanned into the TousAntiCovid app. 

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See also on The Local:

If you do not yet have a carte vitale and are therefore not registered with Ameli, make sure you ask for a paper certificate at the vaccine centre. 

Those who don’t use the TousAntiCovid app can carry around paper evidence of having received a booster dose or a positive test result. If you do this, make sure to carry proof of previous Covid vaccinations too. 

However, if you have not yet received a booster jab and haven’t recently tested positive, the solution is even simpler: get a booster shot. 

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

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 you are having difficulty reactivating the pass you can, as a temporary measure, get a Covid test and show that in order to access health pass venues, although tests are only valid for 24 hours. This however will no longer be an option once the government replaces the health pass with a vaccine pass – which could be within weeks. 

How do I know if my health pass will deactivate?

You can check whether your pass will deactivate by using 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.

Special note for the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine 

A small minority of people in France received a single-shot Janssen vaccine. 

These people are eligible for a booster dose one month after their most recent infection. Their health passes will be deactivated if two months have passed since that last injection. 

There are also some particular rules for if you were infected following your Janssen injection:

If you received a Janssen vaccine, then caught Covid less than 15 days later, you should receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine four weeks after infection. After receiving this additional dose, you become eligible for a booster dose three months after your second injection. You will be considered fully vaccinated, with a booster. 

If you received a Janssen vaccine, then caught Covid more than 15 days later, you become eligible for a booster dose three months after infection. After seven of receiving this injection, you will be considered fully vaccinated, with a booster.

As for those injected with Pfizer/Moderna/Astrazeneca vaccines, if you were injected with the Janssen vaccine and then test positive, this means you can use the health pass for six months (from the moment the test was taken) without getting a booster. 

Member comments

  1. Jane and Ellen,
    Unfortunately, those of us who are US citizens who jumped through hoops to get a Pass Sanitaire for a previous visit to France and subsequently received our boosters are starting from square one on our return visit. You can get into the country by showing your CDC card, but you can’t do anything else (restaurants, museums, etc.) until you go to a pharmacy, show your CDC card indicating three shots and pay the fee (rumored to be 36 euros). If the pharmacist deems your vaccinations to be legit, you will then receive a Pass Vaccinal.
    The need for the Pass is supposed to terminate in a July of 2022, but I will be surprised if all of this bureaucracy is being put in place for just six months. My guess is that this is here to stay, with the need to update for additional shots in the future.

  2. How do I get my booster vaccination (received in the UK) registered on my mobile phone so that I can show it when required in France. Currently I am in the UK but heading out to a summer in France in a couple of months. [Forgive me if this info has already appeared in The Local but I must have missed it].

  3. MICHAEL BOYD ( a grumpy 90 yr old)

    I have used my paper certificate on numerous occasions as I find it much easier than faffing about with my telephone.
    It has always been accepted. I ask the man in a restaurant what he actually did with the photo he took,His reply was “Rien”. I reckon the whole thing is a ” con” as we return to a Vichy regime started by power hungry fonctionnaires & self important politicians. None asked me for my certificate when I attended the clinique in Bordeaux last week.

  4. yes please provide info for those who got shots in the US. I have a passe sanitaire but no way to update it with my 3rd jab. Can I do that at a pharmacy once I arrive in France? Anyway to do it ahead of time? Merci.

  5. I can’t scan any QR code to show I’ve received the vax and the booster since we get only paper cards for attestation in the USA. Will I need a new passe sanitaire (or the new vaccination pass)? If so, where/how do I apply? Thanks for your help.

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