French health pass launches today: How and when to use it

The French health pass can be used for attending large events from today and it will also facilitate international travel within the EU. We explain how the pass will work 

9 June 2021
Woman showing digital health pass. French health pass launches today: How and when to use it

The health pass shows whether not you have been fully vaccinated, have a negative PCR test result or have previously had Covid and are considered immune Pic: M_Agency / Shutterstock

By Joanna York

France’s health pass launches today (June 9) in paper and digital form.

The pass sanitaire refers to standardised ways of showing your health status as France begins the next phase of deconfinement. It will be used to access large-scale events in France such as football matches, exhibitions and festivals as well as to simplify travel within in the EU.

Read more: What Covid rules change in France on June 9?

The system is expected to be in use until at least September 30. 

We explain how and when you can use the health pass.

What information will be on the health pass?

The health pass is not a document in itself. It is a catch-all term to describe three different types of proof that you do not have Covid-19. 

These are:

  • Vaccine certificates showing that you are fully vaccinated and when you received your last dose
  • Proof of a negative PCR test result taken within 48 or 72 hours
  • Proof that you have had Covid within the past six months and are considered immune

Should I use a digital or paper pass?

Both paper and digital proofs of this information are valid. 

Using the paper version means showing physical copies of your vaccine certificates and test results to prove your health status.

The digital version comes in the form of a QR code displayed on the TousAntiCovid app.

To upload your vaccine certificate or test results, open the app and tap Wallet (Mon carnet), then tap Add a certificate (Ajouter un certificate), and choose which kind of certificate you wish to add (test or vaccination).

The app will then direct you to scan a QR code, which you can find on your vaccine certificate or test results. Once you scan the code, the information will be stored in the form of a new QR code in your Wallet. 

If you cannot see a QR code on your test results, you can also upload health information to your wallet via the government website SI-DEP.

Note that some people have found that their vaccination certificates' QR codes were not accepted by the app. This may be the case if the certificate does not show a code with 'Flashez pour ajouter à TousAntiCovid' (flash to add to TousAntiCovid) written under it. In which case, if you have worked in France and/or are in the French health system, use ameli.com to retrieve one in the correct format

Where do I use the health pass? 

You now need a health pass with information proving that you do not have Covid to access activities with over 1,000 attendees such as sports and cultural events in France. 

Read more: What big events in France require a ‘health pass’ from today?

A health pass will not be needed for more everyday activities such as going to a restaurant or the cinema, or using public transport in France.

The health pass can also be used to facilitate international travel. In Europe, the French health pass will function as part of the ‘green certificate’ system allowing travel between EU countries.

The launch date for this EU-wide is July 1 although some countries are already using it. There will be a six-week period from July 1 for countries to test and organise their systems.

Do children need a health pass?

Children aged 11 and over will need to use a health pass for the purposes listed above. 

Parents can use the TousAntiCovid app to store their children’s health passes as well as their own.

Will my data be safe if I use the digital pass?

The application TousAntiCovidVerif will be used to scan digital health passes.

When your QR code is scanned for checking, the only information that will be transmitted is your name, date of birth, and whether your pass is valid or invalid. 

No reason for the validity or invalidity will be indicated.

This gives digital users more privacy than people using a paper pass who will have to show whether or not they have been vaccinated, taken a test or have had Covid.

Read more: How to protect personal data on France's paper Covid-19 health pass

Your pass can only be checked by someone who has been authorised to do so for a specific time period on a chosen date, and they cannot keep your data.

People checking health passes cannot ask for extra proof or information about your health status, but they can ask to see proof of identity to check the name on your health pass matches up. 

Can I get a vaccine certificate in English?

From June 21, France's Assurance maladie will make vaccine certificates in the European format available for download from the Ameli website in both English and French. They will be suitable for travel around the EU.

English language vaccine certificates are recommended for travel to the United States. Other English speaking countries and EU member states may also prefer travellers to have certificates in English as opposed to French.

How can people visiting France use foreign certificates as a health pass? 

From June 21 the French government states that it will be possible for those with a foreign vaccine or test certificate to convert it into an EU format so it can be scanned into the TousAntiCovid app. The process for doing this has not yet been clarified. 

Before June 21, visitors from overseas who want to attend an event in France for which a health pass is needed should arrive in France more than 48 hours beforehand, and take a PCR or antigen test in France. 

A negative test result will work as a paper form of the health pass. 

Related stories

How do Americans prove Covid vaccination status to enter France?

4 ways to get your French online Covid vaccine certificate

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