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This is how tourists can access France’s health pass

This is how tourists can access France's health pass
Written by Publishing Team

From Saturday (15 January), many people, including tourists, will need a COVID-19 booster dose to get to places in France where a health card is required.

A health clearance is mandatory in many places in the country and currently indicates that the holder has been vaccinated against COVID-19, recovered or tested negative in the past 24 hours. It is usually offered on smartphones or in paper form. It is required for anyone over 12 years old, including residents and tourists, and is expected to be in use until July 31, 2022.

From Saturday, January 15, health card requirements will change and people over the age of 18 who received their second dose of their initial vaccination cycle more than seven months ago will no longer have a valid permit. Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 can continue to use their passes without the booster.

Applying for a health permit is a fairly straightforward process if you are a French citizen or a tourist visiting France and have been vaccinated in a country registered with the EU’s COVID Digital Certificate Program. Visitors from the UK also have a relatively uncomplicated way of presenting evidence with their NHS vaccination certificates. But visitors from other places, including the United States, Canada and Australia, have to pay up to 36 euros to apply for a French health permit at designated pharmacies when they arrive in France.

If you’re traveling to France, here’s a guide to understanding what a health passport is, where you need to present it, and how you can apply for it – wherever you’re traveling.

French breakfast with fresh croissants, baguettes, coffee and orange juice served in the café with high angle view
You will need a health permit to sit indoors or outside on the balcony at restaurants and cafes in France © Getty Images

What is a health permit?

the healthy lane (Health Permit) indicates that the holder has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a booster dose. To activate the card, people must be aware of their boost schedule. In France, this means seven months after the second dose of a course of the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Covishield vaccine, or two months after the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

People with a refund certificate can also access the card, and currently, those who have tested negative in the past 24 hours can use either the PCR or antigen test.

Where do I need to submit it?

It came into effect in July, granting its holder access to any entertainment or cultural venue across France with a capacity of more than 50 people, including museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas, concert halls, exhibition spaces, nightclubs, discos, open zoos – festivals, sports venues, parks and libraries Swimming pools and attractions such as the Eiffel Tower.

In August, the health permit was extended to restaurants, cafes, bars (both indoor and outdoor), long-distance trains, coaches, domestic flights, hospitals, nursing homes and large shopping malls.

French citizens can upload their vaccination or test status on the ToutsAntiCovid app, or apply for a hard copy with a QR code.

Visitors stand in line and watch for signs of social distancing outside the Louvre
A health permit is most required at landmarks such as the Louvre © NurPhoto / Getty Images

How can tourists apply for a health permit?

If you are traveling from the European Union or any country that has registered in the EU COVID Digital Certificate Program, You can submit your digital COVID-19 certificate or any approved European health certificate documenting vaccination and booster status. The French Embassy in Germany confirms that if the certificate issued to you appears with a European flag, your certificate is compatible and “will be recognized during [checks] in France in the same way as French degrees.

If you are traveling from the United States You must apply in person through a designated pharmacy in France when you arrive in the country. You will be required to pay a fee of up to 36 EUR (about 44 USD) for the service. However, it is important to note that not all pharmacies offer this service. You might easily find one in cities like Paris, but as you can see from this map, there aren’t many participating pharmacies that are evenly spread across France.

When applying, you will be asked to show your passport and official vaccination certificate (CDC card) with your booster shot information. The pharmacist will transfer the details from that certificate to the French system and provide you with a QR code that can be scanned in places where the health pass is required.

Meanwhile, a number of tourist sites are accepting the CDC vaccination card from American visitors. The Palace of Versailles confirmed to Lonely Planet that Americans are allowed to show their CDC vaccination certificate to enter, and the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre have been reported to allow this as well but has not otherwise been generally accepted as a health pass.

If you are traveling from another place, Follow the same procedures that apply to American tourists.

Health card verification during the Ligue 2 football match between SM Caen and Rodez
QR codes are scanned in paper or digital form at entrances to venues © Hugo Pfeiffer / Icon Sport / Getty Images

Where can I take the test in France?

The test is widely available in France at most pharmacies and medical facilities but you will generally need to make an appointment in advance. Most pharmacies can do antigen tests for around 25 euros, and PCR tests can cost around 45 euros. When you use your health card as an unvaccinated person, your test status is only valid for 24 hours, which means you’ll need to test regularly to enter places. It is also possible that this option will not apply to the age group over 18 years after January. You can find testing locations near you with our COVID Test Map.

This article was first published on July 21, 2021 and was last updated on January 13, 2022

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