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EXPLAINED: The vaccine pass rules for travelling to France with children

The Local France
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EXPLAINED: The vaccine pass rules for travelling to France with children
Children in France may need a vaccine pass. Photo: Ina Fassbender/AFP

With the introduction of the vaccine pass, family travel to France has become more complicated due to the vaccination rules for children - here's what you need to know.


If you're travelling to France you may need to show proof of vaccination at the border, depending where you are travelling from, but once here you will certainly need a vaccine pass if you want to access venues such as bars, cafés, restaurants, ski lifts, leisure centres, tourist sites or long-distance travel.

And this also applies to under 18s.

You can find full details of the rules for entering the country HERE.

Here are the rules regarding the vaccine pass.


Under 12s

If your children are younger than 12 then they do not require any type of pass in order to enter the venues listed above.

Aged between 12 and 15

If your children are aged between 12 years and two months and 15 years, then they will need a health pass to access the above venues.

Slightly different to the vaccine pass, the health pass requires one of three things; proof of full Covid vaccination, proof of recent recovery from Covid or a negative Covid test taken within the previous 24 hours.

'Full vaccination' here means two doses of either Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson. A single dose of Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca is not accepted as full vaccination and kids who have only had one dose will have to follow the rules for unvaccinated people. The child must be at least seven days after their second dose.

Recent recovery from Covid requires a positive test result more than 11 days old but less than six months old. From February 15th, this changes to a test certificate more than 11 days old but less than four months old. The test must be either a PCR or antigen test, tests done at home are not accepted.


If the child tested positive in France or the EU, then their test result can be uploaded straight onto the TousAntiCovid app, those who tested positive outside the EU face a more complicated process - full details HERE.

For children for whom the first two options are not possible, there is the opportunity to take a test. This must be either a PCR or antigen test, not a test taken at home, and the result can be no more than 24 hours old, meaning regular trips to the pharmacy for testing for families who are on holiday. For those who are not resident in France, tests cost €22 for an antigen test or €54 for a PCR test.

Aged between 16 and 18 

Children aged between 16 and 18 need a vaccine pass, which means that a negative Covid test cannot be accepted.

Instead, they need to be either fully vaccinated or have recently tested positive for Covid, and the conditions for those are the same as those outlined above. 

Over 18s may require a booster in order to be considered fully vaccinated, but for the 16-18 age group, boosters are not required.

Aged 18 and over

Teenagers aged 18 or above are counted as adults, which means they need a vaccine pass and may need a booster shot to be considered 'fully vaccinated'.

Booster shots are required once more than seven months has passed since the second dose, a limit that falls to four months on February 15th.

The time limits concern only those who have not had a booster - people who are boosted but have a gap longer than four months between the second shot at the booster will be able to get a valid pass.

Medical exemptions 

There exists within the French vaccine pass rules the possibility to present a Certificat de contre-indication for people who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons.

We explain the process in full HERE, but it is so complicated as to be virtually inaccessible to people who are not resident in France.


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