News Digest: Vaccine Pass Now Required in France



News Digest: Vaccine Pass Now Required in France

France’s Health Pass is now a Vaccine Pass, plus there are new rules for travellers from the UK and Australia. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. France’s Vaccine Pass

In last week’s News Digest, we announced that the bill to transform France’s Heath Pass into a Vaccine Pass had been passed, and no time has been wasted in bringing in the change. The Vaccine Pass (Pass Vaccinal) came into effect yesterday (Monday 24th January), essentially barring the unvaccinated from bars, restaurants, large public events, long-distance transport, and a wide range of leisure and cultural venues across the country. As with the Health Pass, the Vaccine Pass not only applies to French citizens and residents but all travellers, second-home owners, and other visitors to France.

For those who are already vaccinated and hold a valid Pass Sanitaire, nothing changes. However, if you have been relying on negative Covid tests to access the pass, this is now no longer possible. An important caveat is that the Vaccine Pass is only applicable to adults and children aged 16 and over. Children between the ages of 12 and 15 can still use the former Health Pass, while children under 12 do not need either a Health Pass or Vaccine Pass. For those hoping to visit France with unvaccinated children, this brings some relief, although you will still need to pay for Covid tests in order to access the Health Pass.

Read our full article on France’s Vaccine Pass for all the details.

2. No More Day 2 Tests for UK Travellers

Another week, another update to the France-UK travel rules! Thankfully, this time it’s good news, at least for vaccinated travellers. The UK announced yesterday that from Friday, February 11th, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to pre-book and take a Covid test on Day 2 of arrival.

Unvaccinated travellers will still need to present a negative pre-departure test and also take a Day 2 test on arrival; however, they will no longer be required to quarantine on arrival or take a second PCR test on Day 8.

As always, you can follow the latest France-UK Travel rules here.

3. Australia Moves to France’s Orange List

As of Sunday, January 23rd, France also announced that Australia was being placed on its Orange list for travel. Previously categorised as green, this change now means that unvaccinated travellers must have an Essential Reason in order to visit France (which doesn’t include owning a second home or visiting family members). It also means that unvaccinated French citizens and residents must have an essential reason to travel to Australia.

Vaccinated travellers can still travel between France and Australia for any reason, including tourism or to visit a second home. However, you will need to follow the rules of France’s traffic light system for travel, which includes presenting a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure.

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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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  •  Ian Gibb
    2022-02-12 08:39:33
    Ian Gibb
    My wife and I are intending to apply for a long stay (6 month) visa to visit our property in the Dordogne this year, hopefully April-September. We have 2 grandchildren who will be graduating from UK Universities during that time and would dearly like to come back for those ceremonies then return to France for the remainder of the visa period. We can’t find any specific guidance on whether this would be permissible. Can you advise please Zoe?


    • Zoë Smith
      2022-02-13 20:38:55
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Ian, With any type of long-stay visa, you may enter and leave France as many times as you like within the period of your visa. Enjoy your travels! Zoe


  •  John Bolton
    2022-01-25 09:04:34
    John Bolton
    Where is the entry form for your Normandy competition?


    • Zoë Smith
      2022-01-27 09:33:04
      Zoë Smith
      Hi John, Click the link on the newsletter email! That will take you to the competition page. Good luck!