Do foreign visitors to France need health pass for domestic flights?
People in France must present a health pass to access many public spaces and services including long distance transports
French health pass rules extend to long distance transports including domestic flights Pic: OlegRi / Shutterstock
We will soon be flying from our home in the US to Paris-Charles de Gaulle. After staying overnight in an airport hotel we will then take a domestic flight from there to Marseille. Can we use our CDC certificates for this or must we have a French health pass?
French health pass rules extend to long distance transports including domestic flights.
So, while foreign visitors do not need a health pass to enter the country, they do need one if they wish to fly to different places within it.
Air France states on its website that: “All domestic flights require the health pass.
“If you have a connecting flight towards [a destination in] metropolitan France, you must present a health pass.”
Similarly Paris Airports air travel authority says that “for domestic flights within metropolitan [France], the presentation of a health pass is obligatory for all passengers aged over 12 years and two months,” or 12 years in the case of Corsica.
What is the French health pass?
The pass sanitaire consists of paper or digital proof that:
- You were fully vaccinated against Covid with Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Covishield R-Pharm or Fiocruz at least seven days before the date in question (or 28 days in the case of the Janssen jab)
- You tested negative for Covid using a PCR or antigen test taken in the last 72 hours
- You tested positive for Covid between 11 days and six months before and have have a certificate of recovery
How can I get one?
Our reader will be able to use their American Centers for Disease and Control Protection (CDC) vaccination documentation to board their flight from the US to France.
However, it will then be necessary to obtain a health pass, a process which can no longer be completed through the online portal which was established over the summer.
Now, travellers from most non-EU countries, including the US and Canada, must go to one in a list of designated pharmacies and request that a staff member convert their vaccination certificates to a QR code which can either be printed off or uploaded to France’s TousAntiCovid health pass app.
For this, they will need both their passports and vaccination documents.
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.
This process comes at a cost of up to €36 per person.
There are several pharmacies based in Paris airports which will carry out this procedure for you.
Charles de Gaulle
Non-EU tourists can convert their documentation in four pharmacies in Charles de Gaulle Airport.
The Pharmacie du 2F is open every day from 06:00 until 20:00 and the Pharmacie Lahmi in Terminal 2E is open from 06:00 until 20:00 according to the airport website.
However, these opening times may change and the QR code conversion service may not always be available.
There is also a pharmacy outside the airport buildings called the Pharmacie Bonassoli, which is normally open between 09:00 and 19:30.
Just outside the airport, the Pharmacie Orly Ouest is open between 08:00 and 20:00.
What if I can’t use vaccination documents?
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 usually within 30 minutes 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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