News Digest: Quarantine Risk for Vaccinated Travellers to the UK?

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News Digest: Quarantine Risk for Vaccinated Travellers to the UK?

Covid boosters, flu jabs, and extensions to France’s Health Pass. Plus, can you be asked to self-isolate in the UK even if you are vaccinated? Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. Health Pass Extended

We mentioned in last week’s News Digest that French MPS were debating a bill to extend France’s Health Pass (Pass Sanitaire) through to summer 2022, and we can now confirm that this bill has been approved (albeit by a close vote!) by Parliament. The next step before the bill is passed into law is for it to be debated by the Senate, which will take place this Thursday (October 28th).

The bill’s approval will mean that the Pass Sanitaire will continue to be required for all adults and children over the age of 12 for entrance to public events, bars, restaurants, sports and cultural venues. The legislation would remain in place until July 31st 2022.

2. Possible Quarantine for Vaccinated Travellers to the UK?

Yes, you read that right. Firstly, it’s important to note that this doesn’t concern vaccinated travellers arriving in the UK. The rules for entering the UK, which you can find here, haven’t changed. However, the UK has confirmed a distinction to the rules regarding contact cases that may throw a spanner in the works for those vaccinated in France.

Under the current rules, those vaccinated in an EU country such as France (or any other non-UK country) are not recognised as vaccinated by the UK’s Test and Trace service. This means that if you are alerted by Test and Trace that you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, you will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days. Crucially, this means you would not be able to leave the country during the isolation period and would have to extend your stay in the UK if you had planned to leave before the end of this 10-day period.

Controversially, anyone vaccinated in the UK is exempt from self-isolation under the exact same circumstances, which has naturally raised some questions over the fairness of the policy. The UK government has previously tried this tactic on a number of Covid regulations (including their initial travel policy) and have eventually relented and agreed to offer the same rules to both UK and foreign citizens. Time will tell if this will also be the case with this rule—we’ll keep you updated.

3. Flu Vaccines and Boosters

October 22nd marked the date that the flu vaccine was made available for all priority groups (anyone over 65, pregnant women, and those with chronic illnesses or obesity). Vaccines are free for everyone registered for France’s healthcare service or Carte Vitale, and you’ll need a ‘bon de prise en charge’ from your doctor in order to access it. Present this voucher at your local pharmacy to pick up your flu shot and arrange your appointment.

Flu vaccines will be available to anyone who wants one from November 23rd.

Covid-19 vaccination boosters are also currently available for over-65s and high-priority groups, and it’s possible to get both jabs in one appointment. Ask at your pharmacy or book an appointment via Doctorlib.

P.S. Don’t Forget to Put Your Clocks Back!

Enjoy your extra hour in bed this Sunday, October 31st, as the clocks go back one hour at 3 am. If you live in France, you can also enjoy a lie-in on Monday (good news if you’ve got plans for Halloween!). November 1st is a jour férié (bank holiday) in honour of All Saints Day (Toussaint).

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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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Comments

  •  L. HOBBS
    2021-10-30 11:36:53
    L. HOBBS
    Reading this article, you give instructions how to obtain a Carte Vitale; you say to open Ameli website, and then open Ouverture des droits - and then you tell us to download and print off the form. What form? There are 52 forms, and not one of them refers to Carte Vitale. I need urgent help please with this. There seems to be no mention anywhere on this website of the Carte Vitale.

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2021-11-01 01:38:04
      Zoë Smith
      Before you apply for a Carte Vitale you must obtain a social security number by using the Ouverture des droits form as outlined in our guide. Here's the direct link to the form: https://www.ameli.fr/sites/default/files/formulaires/168/s1106_-_demande_puma_-_assurance_maladie.pdf Once you have your number and Ameli login, you can request your Carte Vitale via your online account. Hope this helps!

      REPLY

  • Jeff
    2021-10-27 01:50:46
    Jeff
    Vaccinated in the US with one of the UK approved vaccinesI arrived in early September and was contacted day 8 by Test and Trace, saying I had to self-isolate for 10 days due to contact on the airplane day 0 with someone that tested positive, without saying when they tested positive. Test and Trace text message and email received, then a call. Their website uses the administered "in the UK" wording, but when we contacted NHS, they said that was wrong, and an approved vaccine administered in the US was as good as that administered in the UK, no self-isolation required. Test and Trace was using a contracting firm that was not questioning the differences in wording between their site and other sections of the NHS website. Don't accept the "in the UK" wording without appealing.

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2021-10-27 08:04:31
      Zoë Smith
      Thanks for getting in touch, Jeff - this is great advice. The official word from the Department for Transport is: “Our domestic verification process currently only recognises the vaccination status of individuals who received their vaccine in the UK.” However, we definitely encourage anyone in this situation to appeal and hopefully others will have the same success that you did. All the best,

      REPLY

  • Adrian Cuss
    2021-10-26 07:12:08
    Adrian Cuss
    Many thanks for your advice, we cannot wait to get back to our hotel in France, it has been so long, to navigate all the complicated obstacles, wishing you all the best...

    REPLY