15 FAQs on EU’s Covid Digital Certificate and France summer travel
How to use it, who is it for, what it does...We explain the EU’s new scheme for verifying Covid-19 tests and vaccination certificates and how it works with French data
An example of part of the new Covid-19 vaccination certificates being issued in France that have a QR code compatible with an EU-wide verification system Pic: Screenshot / TousAntiCovid
The EU’s Digital Covid Certificate travel system officially comes into force today, with the aim of facilitating travel across the bloc. We have received many questions on the topic and answer a selection here.
If you have a question that is not covered in this article, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org - we will answer as many as we can
What is the Digital Covid Certificate?
It is a system the EU has set up to allow Covid-19 vaccination and test certificates to be verified in each member state, therefore making travel easier and cutting down the risk of fraudulent certificates. It is a way of standardising the information.
It is not a separate document in any way. It is the standardisation of QR codes on Covid vaccination and test certificates being used throughout the EU. This applies whether the QR code you have is on paper or in a digital format.
What does the Digital Covid Certificate look like for someone living in France?
Your Covid-19 vaccination certificate issued in France will have a QR code that can be verified by travel or event authorities around the EU. All Covid-19 tests in France will also have this QR code - if it does not you should ask the person who carries out the test to create one for you.
You can read our article here about how to get the vaccination certificate that has this EU-compatible QR code on it here - How to ensure your French Covid certificates will work for EU travel
The most up to date Covid-19 vaccination and test certificates issued in France will be in English and French. This is because, under the EU’s system, these certificates should be in each country’s national language and English.
Which countries are included in the scheme?
Initially, all 27 EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Are non-EU countries going to be integrated into this system?
The EU has stated that it is open to integrating non-EU countries into the system.
Talks are known to be taking place with both the UK and US as to how to integrate the countries’ Covid-19 vaccination and test certificates into the EU system.
A spokesperson for the EU told The Connexion that ongoing technical talks with the UK to integrate the UK’s vaccination certificates into its system are “progressing well and going in the right direction”.
This is because the UK and EU’s digital “architectures” are aligned, the spokesperson said. They could not give a time frame for when the systems will be integrated or any further details.
The EU is similarly continuing talks with the US on this matter, but progress is not as advanced. The EU spokesperson said, “we are following closely how the debate on the [vaccination] certificates evolves in the US”.
Is the Digital Covid Certificate only for vaccinated people?
No. It covers the following people:
Those who are vaccinated against Covid-19 (individual member states can decide themselves if this applies only to fully vaccinated people or not, in France it only applies to fully vaccinated people)
Those who have taken a Covid-19 test (PCR or rapid antigen) that proves a patient is negative for Covid-19 (in France this applies to tests taken within the past 48 hours)
Those who have a Covid-19 test (PCR or rapid antigen) that proves they have been positive for Covid-19 between two weeks and six months ago (rules on this may vary between each country)
Can children use it?
Yes, however, children under six should be exempted from travel-related testing, the EU states.
In France, everyone of the age of 12 and over is eligible for a Covid-19 vaccination.
Can I register my children's vaccination or test certificates on my TousAntiCovid application?
Yes, you can register as many QR codes as you want on one application.
Is the Digital Covid Certificate only in digital format?
No. You can also present your vaccination or test certificates in paper format.
How do I get a Digital Covid Certificate in France?
Since June 25, all the vaccination certificates being issued in France will have a QR code on it that is compatible with the EU-wide verification system.
All Covid-19 test results will also now have a QR code - if they do not, you should ask the person carrying out the test to create this certificate for you.
If you were vaccinated before June 25 and you have a French social security number, you can download your updated certificate via this link: attestation-vaccin.ameli.fr
If you were vaccinated before June 25 and you do not have a French social security number, then the best way to get one is to ask at the place where you were vaccinated, whether at a vaccination centre, with your GP or at a pharmacy.
For more information on this, please see our article here: How to ensure your French Covid certificates will work for EU travel
If you were vaccinated before June 25 and uploaded your vaccination certificate to the phone application TousAntiCovid, then you will be able to update your certificate through the app.
You will have to go to the “Mon carnet” (My wallet) section in the app, select the drop down menu and click convert to European format.
This function is not yet available, but should be within the next few days.
If you have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past six months, you can update your test certificate to one with a QR code compatible with the EU verification system.
If you have a French social security number and have tested positive within the past three months, you can get an updated test certificate through the government website sidep.gouv.fr.
If you tested positive more than three months ago and/or do not have a French social security number, France’s national health insurance website Ameli suggests that you ask the health professional who carried out your test for an updated certificate.
I was fully vaccinated in March and do not have a vaccination certificate with a QR code on it. What should I do?
If you have a social security number in France, you can download a new version from Ameli at this link: attestation-vaccin.ameli.fr.
If you do not have a social security number, you should ask the health professional who carried out your vaccination for an updated certificate.
I am fully vaccinated, does that mean I am exempt from all other travel restrictions in the EU?
The EU has set out a common approach to Covid-19 travel measures in the bloc involving a colour-coded map that defines countries’ Covid-19 risk level.
The recommendation aims to bring consistency to travel rules linked to Covid-19.
However, individual member states are free to introduce their own rules and regulations.
You should always check the rules of the destination country before travelling.
Also, it should be noted that you are not considered fully vaccinated on the day of your last injection.
The period varies from country to country; in France, it is two weeks after the last injection, and four weeks for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Who will check my Digital Covid Certificate?
It depends on how you travel in Europe and from where.
By plane, train or boat, the check will be done at departure by the transport company when you leave France. A random check by the border police may be added. Other EU member states may have different systems in place.
By car, random checks will be organised by the police at intra-European border crossings.
My Covid-19 vaccination certificate only has my maiden name on it, which does not match the name on my passport. What should I do?
The Connexion has spoken to France’s national insurance service Assurance Maladie, which has stated that it is looking into this issue.
The website of Assurance Maladie, Ameli, states that from June 3, 2021, only a person’s maiden name is given on vaccination certificates so as to comply with European norms as part of the EU-wide travel pass system.
Read what we know so far about the issue in our article here: French Covid certificate has maiden name, passport married name
I am covered by my partner’s S1 health insurance, and so do not have an Ameli login of my own. How do I get my Covid-19 vaccination certificate with the updated QR code?
If you cannot get a vaccination certificate through Ameli, then you fall into the situation of people who do not have a social security number.
In this case, the best way to get your updated vaccination certificate is to ask at the place where you were vaccinated, whether at a vaccination centre, with your GP or at a pharmacy.
Or, if you were given a paper certificate at the time of your vaccination with a QR code on it, you can scan it into the TousAntiCovid application and update the certificate via the app in the next few days.
I have a Covid-19 vaccination certificate issued before June 25 that has two QR codes on it. Which one do I need to upload to the TousAntiCovid application?
Covid vaccination certificates in France do have two QR codes on them.
One of them will mention TousAntiCovid next to it, and the other QR code will either mention 2D-DOC, or if you have the most recent version of the certificate, it will mention EU Digital Covid Certificate (in English or French).
The QR code that mentions TousAntiCovid is the one you should scan to upload the certificate into your application.
It will then show on your application the same QR code as the one on your paper certificate that is labelled either 2D-DOC or EU Digital Covid Certificate.
It is this QR code that will be scanned by travel or event authorities.