Can I convert my American Covid vaccine certificate to a French one?

Tourists report that some healthcare workers at pharmacies and vaccination centres are doing this - but it is not an official method, the foreign ministry has said. However another solution is due to be in place next week

6 August 2021

Foreign tourists have reported being able to ‘convert’ their Covid vaccination certificates to French ones in pharmacies and vaccination centres. The government says this is not an official method to do it Pic: Obatala-photography / Shutterstock

By Thomas Brent

Some American visitors claim healthcare workers in pharmacies and vaccination centres have been converting their Covid vaccine certificates into a French and EU-recognised version, which works with France’s health pass scheme.

But this is not an official way to get a health pass in France, the foreign ministry has told The Connexion

A spokesperson said that the only official ways for foreigners to get health passes in France were listed on the government’s website

For French nationals living abroad, this involves filling out a form and sending documents of proof to France’s foreign ministry for approval.

A similar system is to be set up for tourists from Monday (August 9), French tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne announced yesterday.

Read more: France to give vaccinated tourists QR code for health pass from Monday

He also said that vaccination certificates issued in England and Wales with QR codes would be recognised as part of France’s health pass scheme by the end of this week. 

Read more: NHS Covid certificates to be fully compatible with French health pass

The French government does not state anywhere that people with foreign vaccination certificates can ask French pharmacies or vaccination centres to generate a French version.

However, The Connexion is aware of multiple people saying that they have managed to do this in practice. 

There are several online reports of people asking “friendly” healthcare workers with access to France’s Covid vaccination IT system to create French vaccination certificates for them. 

Online guide Paris By Mouth writes that the Hôtel Dieu hospital in Paris has set up an office specifically to do this.

The Connexion phoned the hospital to ask and we were given a second number to call but we were unable to get through.

We also spoke to two pharmacies in Nice (Alpes-Maritimes) and were told they do not create French vaccination certificates for people bringing in US or other foreign vaccination certificates. The pharmacist at the second pharmacy said that this was for both legal and technical reasons. 

France already recognises Covid vaccination and test certificates issued in all other EU countries, as part of the bloc’s EU Digital Covid Certificate scheme.

French tourism minister Mr Lemoyne said he wanted to offer French health passes to all other visiting tourists beginning next week.

“Our aim is to allow tourists from outside the European area, already present in France and with approved EU vaccines, to start accessing the health pass on August 9,” he said.

“We are putting in place a scheme that will gradually increase in capacity.”

France will extend the use of the health pass to restaurants, cafes, bars, long-distance travel services, care homes and hospitals (in non-emergency situations) from Monday (August 9). 

The health pass, which shows proof of vaccination, proof of a negative Covid test taken within the past 48 hours, or proof of having been positive with Covid 11 days to six months before, is already required to enter museums, theatres, cinemas, public swimming pools and some other venues that can host over 50 people. 

Related stories:

French court validates health pass but rejects obligatory quarantine

Checklist: Where and when should I use the French Covid health pass?

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