News Digest: Health Pass Access for Foreign Travellers



News Digest: Health Pass Access for Foreign Travellers

The August holidays are almost at an end and France is gearing up for La Rentrée, plus there’s good news for non-EU travellers hoping to register for France’s Health Pass. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. Access to Health Pass for Foreign Visitors

The French government has now launched a new online portal for foreign visitors to access the Health Pass or Pass Sanitaire. The Health Pass is required to access public events, bars, restaurants, and cultural venues around France, and can be accessed via France’s TousAntiCovid App. However, up until now, the app has been tricky to access for non-EU visitors.

While those who received their vaccinations in EU countries or the UK can simply scan the QR code on their French or NHS-issued certificate into the app, visitors from America, Canada, and other non-EU countries must transfer their vaccination certificate into a French one fist—a rather long-winded process. The good news is that you can now request this French certificate online here. To do so, you will need copies of your vaccination certificate (showing full vaccination with an EU-approved vaccine), your passport, and your return airline tickets to France (in a PDF, JPG or PNG format). Once your application has been approved, you will be sent a QR code which you can scan into the app to activate your Pass Sanitaire.

Our article on France’s Health Pass has everything you need to know about using the Pass, including when and where you need it in France.

2. Macron’s Vaccine Gamble Pays Off

While we reported in last week’s News Digest about the many protests against France’s Health Pass, it seems like President Macron’s plan to encourage the French to get vaccinated is paying off. France’s slow roll-out of vaccinations was widely criticised at first, but the latest figures have seen France overtake many other European countries (including Germany and Spain) for first-dose vaccinations.

The current vaccination figures, as of August 23rd, show a cumulative uptake of at least one vaccine dose in over 18s in France at 88.4% and 68.6% fully vaccinated. That means more than 47 million people have now received at least one vaccine dose.

3. It’s Almost La Rentrée!

French cities have been quieter than usual over August as many workers take their annual summer vacations, but as the holidays come to an end, La Rentrée (the ‘return to school’) is just around the corner. If you have children at school in France, things are going to be a little different in 2021. This week, France’s Education Minister Jean Michel-Blanquer clarified some of the rules and regulations that will be put in place in schools in the continuing fight against Covid-19.

Despite concerns to the contrary, he confirmed that the Health Pass will not be required for students or teachers, and Covid vaccinations will not be made mandatory for students or teachers either. However, vaccination programs will be starting up in schools from September, and all children over 12 will be given the option to get vaccinated.

There is also a four-step colour-coded alert level (Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red) for schools depending on the local Covid situation, each outlining the protocol for school closures and homeschooling (in the event of Covid cases), mask-wearing, group sizes for classes and activities, canteen dining, and additional hygiene measures (disinfecting surfaces, for example).

All at primary schools, collèges and lycées will start at Yellow Level in September, which means in-person lessons, mandatory mask-wearing indoors for all collège and lycée students and staff members; and school closures (for primary schools) or homeschooling for unvaccinated students (for collèges and lycées in the case of a positive Covid case as the school.

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

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  •  Poppa
    2021-09-06 08:50:57
    I have just ridden my motorcycle to my house in Central France…(retirement at last)….all establishments so far have been happy to accept my uk vaccination card. No hassle at all.


  •  Maureen Wooldridge
    2021-08-28 11:29:37
    Maureen Wooldridge
    Your readers might like to know that the NHS QR code doesn’t work on the Tousanticovid app. It will not scan - a message says ‘ wrong format’. My sister in law tried to do it this morning.


    •  Alex
      2021-08-30 11:47:33
      It worked ok for me a couple of weeks ago.


  • Christine O'Neill
    2021-08-25 12:08:01
    Christine O'Neill
    I have just returned from France prior to my travel I requested hard copy of NHS Covid pass. It was delivered to me 3 days later. I also downloaded the form with QR code and printed a hard copy, brilliantly worked every time which was lucky as I had no internet access. They are accepting in bars and restaurants paper copies.


  • Carolyn Gowen
    2021-08-25 10:30:54
    Carolyn Gowen
    It's worth noting that the UK NHS vaccination app, and the vaccination card issued by the NHS, cannot always be scanned successfully here in France. My mother arrived a few days ago. The QR code on the NHS app could not be scanned at the airport on arrival - they accepted her vaccination card. So far every bar, restaurant and tourist place we have been to has been unable to scan the QR code on either the NHS app or the vaccination card. So far this hasn't caused any problems, but UK travellers coming to France should be aware that this might happen.


  • Susan Horton
    2021-08-24 10:47:47
    Susan Horton
    I followed your link and began filling out the request for a pass sanitaire as a non-EU (US) visitor, but then saw that it was meant for French nationals who live abroad. Do you have the correct link availble?


  •  A ellwood
    2021-08-24 08:36:53
    A ellwood
    You’re taking it for granted that everyone in the world is vaccinated . Not so . How will everyone else get into France ? Or are those non vaccinated not invited or barred from entry ?


  •  Diane
    2021-08-24 05:46:18
    I sent all our docs in to the Area1 address on August 15 with a travel date of Aug 24. Still no word beyond the auto response, “we have received your email .” Today is August 24 and still no word or QR code!