Covid France: Should I update to an EU vaccine certificate to travel?

Some people who were vaccinated early have a certificate that only functions in France. We explain what they need to do to travel in the EU.

5 October 2021

French Covid vaccine certificates can be updated to become EU-compatible certificates, which can be used around the EU Pic: turkfotograf / Shutterstock

Reader question: I have my Covid vaccination certificate loaded onto the 'wallet' in the TousAntiCovid app. I'm off to Italy for a few days next week. Should I change the current French version of the certificate to the European version and, if so, is it desirable to change it back again?

It is necessary to upgrade the French Covid vaccine certificate to an EU version so that authorities in other countries and at borders can scan and verify your vaccination status. 

France is a part of an EU-wide scheme called the EU Digital Covid Certificate, which allows authorities in any participating country to verify Covid tests or vaccination certificates issued in any other participating country. 

People who received their final vaccination dose in France after June 25 should have been given an EU-compatible vaccination certificate at the time. 

For those who were fully vaccinated before, they likely only have a vaccination certificate that works in France.

It is possible to update these.

How to update the certificate

One way is through the Covid application TousAntiCovid.

You can upload your certificate to the app through the Mon Carnet (my wallet) section. Once there, you can upgrade it to an EU-certificate.

Above the QR code on the right you should see three vertically aligned dots. Click on these dots and choose the option “convertir au format européen (convert to European format)”.

If you do not see this option, you may need to update your application first.

For a full breakdown of how to do this, including pictures, read our article here: How to update Covid vaccine certificate to EU format via TousAntiCovid

You can also update your certificate online via Ameli or by asking the person or authority who administered the vaccination for a paper copy.

Using the application to travel

Once the updated certificate is in the TousAntiCovid app, you will notice when you click on it that it has two different modes: normal and border mode.

You can switch the certificate to “border mode” when you present your QR code at airports or borders.

The other mode is for visiting restaurants, cafés or any other places or events where a vaccination certificate is required. 

Difference between EU certificate and French certificate

The only difference is that the French certificate can only be used in France, whereas the EU certificate can be used all across the EU, including in France.

For this reason, if you update your certificate to an EU version there is absolutely no need to try to switch it back to a French version. The EU one will continue to work as normal in France.

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