How can I convert my US vaccination documents to a French health pass?

For residents of many non-EU countries, obtaining a health pass involves converting existing vaccination certificates to a QR code

9 November 2021

A health pass is needed to enter a wide range of public spaces in France Pic: BreizhAtao / Shutterstock

By Emma Morgan

We are Americans planning to visit France in December. We are fully vaccinated with Pfizer and will also have our vaccinated teenage children with us. How do we get a health pass to eat in a restaurant? 

People who are vaccinated in the US must convert their vaccination certificate to a QR code or take regular, payable Covid tests in order to obtain a French health pass.

This applies to tourists arriving in France from outside the EU, the UK, Albania, Armenia Andorra, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Morocco, Monaco, Norway, Panama, San Marino, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine or the Vatican.

These countries have vaccination documentation containing QR codes compatible with the French system.

Travellers had previously been able to request a health pass QR code online, but many encountered long delays and the application portal has now been suspended. 

Read more: France suspends online form for non-EU health pass QR codes

Now, visitors to France must visit one in a list of participating pharmacies, including over 300 in Paris, with their passport and vaccination documents in order to obtain the code. 

The vaccination certificate must be in its original paper form and contain the person’s full name, date of birth, vaccination date(s), the vaccine used (and batch number if possible), the number of doses and the country in which they were received.  

Read more: French pharmacies to convert non-EU vaccination data into health pass

The pharmacist will then convert the documents into a QR code which can be scanned or downloaded onto France’s TousAntiCovid health pass app, where it can be kept indefinitely.

This will come at a cost of up to €36 per conversion.

Children over 12 years of age who are fully vaccinated can also obtain a code. In France, children under the age of 12 years and two months do not need a health pass.

Read more: French health pass requirements extends to 12 to 17-year-olds

Please note that travellers are only classed as being fully vaccinated in terms of France’s health pass if they received all necessary doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca (or Covishield equivalent) or Janssen jabs at least seven days before.

What is the French health pass? 

France’s pass sanitaire is a way to prove you do not have Covid-19, and it is required in order to access a range of public spaces and services including restaurants, bars, museums, zoos and theme parks. 

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

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

  • proof of being fully vaccinated at least seven days before,
  • proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within the past 72 hours,
  • proof of having been positive with Covid 11 days to six months before entering the space

Those who are unvaccinated or unable to convert their vaccination documentation can also get a health pass by taking an antigen test in a pharmacy, many of which accept walk-ins. 

These tests generally cost between €20 and €30 and the results come with a QR code that can be used as a health pass for the next 72 hours. 

French certificates of recovery from Covid usually come in the form of a positive test result received at least 11 days before. These documents always carry a TousAntiCovid-compatible QR code, whilst their equivalents in other countries do not.

Positive test results that come without a QR code can therefore not be uploaded to TousAntiCovid.

In the advice issued to residents of non-EU countries, the French Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs has also previously stated that the service charged with generating health pass QR codes cannot convert certificates of recovery. 

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