How to get a French health pass: A guide for residents and visitors

Proof of Covid-19 status is required to enter most public venues in France. We explain how residents and tourists can get a French health pass

3 September 2021

A Covid health pass is required to enter restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas, theatres, certain shopping centres and more Pic: Sylv1rob1 / Shutterstock

By Thomas Brent

Everyone aged 18 and over is required to present a Covid health pass when entering the majority of public places in France, including restaurants, cafés, cinemas, museums, and theatres.

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

From September 30, this will be extended to everyone aged 12 and over. 

Staff working in these public places also need to have a health pass.

We look at what the health pass is, where it is needed and how residents and tourists to France can get it.

What is the health pass?

The health pass is not a single document but a way to prove you do not have Covid-19. 

Demonstrating your health pass on entry to a venue effectively means you must show either:

  • Proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19

  • Proof of a negative Covid test taken within the past 72 hours (PCR or rapid antigen)

  • Proof of having been positive with Covid 11 days to six months before entering the space (this proof is the Covid test that shows you were positive)

These documents can be shown in paper format, digitally, or through the phone application TousAntiCovid.

Typically, there will be a QR code attached to the document that staff at the venue can scan to verify your proof. 

Where do I need to show the health pass in France?

How to get a Covid health pass as a French resident

If you were vaccinated on June 25 or after

Since June 25, all the vaccination certificates being issued in France will have a QR code on them that is compatible with France’s health pass scheme and the EU-wide verification system called EU Digital Covid Certificate.

If you were vaccinated before June 25

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.

Read more: Covid vaccine certificate for residents not in French health system

If you were vaccinated before June 25 and uploaded your vaccination certificate to the phone application TousAntiCovid, you can now update your certificate through the app, as explained in this article.

If you have tested positive for Covid-19 

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 and France’s health pass. 

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.

If you are not vaccinated or have not tested positive for Covid

The third certificate compatible with the health pass scheme is a negative Covid-19 test, which remains valid for 72 hours.

This can be either a rapid antigen test or a PCR test. If you have a carte Vitale, you can get Covid-19 tests for free until mid-October. After that point, a fee will be demanded unless you have a medical reason for the test. 

Where to get a Covid-19 test in France

Pharmacies

Rapid antigen tests are readily available in many pharmacies around France. You can walk in and book a test and usually get the result within 30 minutes. The availability of Covid-19 tests is usually advertised in the pharmacy window. 

Finding a test centre

You can also find a place to get a Covid-19 test through the government website sante.fr. 

Simply type in the department you are in and you will see a list of all laboratories offering tests. 

There is also a map of all the testing laboratories with the relevant contact details. 

Please note that the search feature on the map does not always function. You may be better zooming into the area you live in to find your nearest testing centre. 

Sante.fr provides the laboratories’ phone numbers and you can book an appointment by calling directly, but staff may not speak English. 

You can also book an appointment through Doctolib.fr without a social security number. You just need to sign up for a free account. You will then need to provide your address, postcode and town. 

How to get a Covid health pass as a tourist of another EU country

All Covid-19 test and vaccination certificates issued in any EU country plus Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein are valid in any of these countries, due to the EU Digital Covid Certificate scheme.

How to get a Covid health pass as a UK tourist

Covid-19 vaccination certificates issued in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and, from September 3, Scotland, have a QR code on them.

They are all compatible with France’s Covid phone application TousAntiCovid. This means that people in the UK can scan their certificates into the app and then present the QR code to staff at places where a health pass is required. 

The Connexion is still seeking verification on if the Scottish certificates can be scanned by France’s health pass QR code verification technology. 

A person is considered fully vaccinated one week after their final vaccine dose in France.

The vaccines that are accepted as part of the health pass are: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. 

For UK tourists to France who are not fully vaccinated, they can take Covid-19 tests that are valid for 72 hours. See the section in this article ‘where to get a Covid-19 test in France’ for more details.

It should be noted that tourists to France have to pay for Covid-19 tests. 

The tests will cost up to €29 for rapid antigen tests and up to €49 for PCR tests. However, some private testing clinics may charge more. Some places, such as nurses’ clinics, may also charge less. 

How to get a Covid health pass as a non-EU tourist

Tourists to France from outside the EU can get a QR code to prove their Covid vaccination so they can get a health pass in France.

Tourists can now go to this webpage and fill out the form to request the QR code. 

You first have to create a password and a username to log in, and then you will have to provide your name and address and upload a copy of your passport or ID card, your travel tickets to France and a copy of your Covid vaccination certificate.

It is similar to the original method that the government set up in early August, whereby tourists would have to email these documents to a service.

You can read about that method here, which is still valid: How tourists can get a Covid vaccine QR code recognised in France.

Problem:

One major problem with this system is delays. Several Connexion readers have reported long delays in receiving their QR codes, and many others have reported not receiving one at all nearly one month after applying. 

Read more: ‘I cancelled my trip’: French health pass delays hit non-EU tourists

Solution:

France’s foreign affairs ministry has acknowledged The Connexion’s queries about these delays, but has not provided a response.

One simple solution is that non-EU tourists can get a Covid-19 test from a pharmacy, thereby getting a certificate compatible with the health pass that will last 72 hours. The problem is that it will cost around €29 every three days.

The Connexion has heard several reports of US tourists showing their US CDC Covid vaccination cards as proof of vaccination, and French staff accepting them. This appears to be down to the goodwill of the staff at the venue.

The maiden name issue

Several married women in France have reported the fact that the name on their Covid-19 vaccination certificate is their maiden name, which does not match the name on their passport.

This issue affects women whose passports do not include their maiden name, such as those issued by the UK or the US.

It stems from the fact that the French Assurance maladie (Ameli) databases usually list women with their birth names and not the one they currently use, and Covid vaccination certificates are generated by pulling data from the Ameli databases.

A spokesperson for France’s health ministry has told The Connexion that:

“You need to see your doctor, pharmacist or vaccination centre so they can modify the patient information – ie the birth name / married name – so as to supply you with a new vaccination certificate.”

However, several readers have reported trying this and being denied by the healthcare professional.

We gathered a list of potential workarounds to this issue in our article here: Reader tips over maiden names on French vaccine certificates

Related stories:

France extends health pass today: Rules for residents and tourists

How do I get a Covid-19 test in France to return to the UK?

Does the French health pass requirement apply to gîte and B&B owners?

How to display your French Covid health pass on your phone home screen

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