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Proof of Covid isolation in France: Who needs it and how to get one

If you test positive or are a close contact and need to isolate but cannot work from home, you will need an ‘attestation’ for your employer. We explain

A woman looking fed up staring out of a window

An isolation certificate can be used to prove to your employer that you must stay at home, as well as ensure you receive compensation from CPAM Pic: Timothy Kuiper / Shutterstock

People in France who have tested positive for Covid or are a confirmed contact case, who must isolate and cannot work from home, must now obtain an ‘attestation d’isolement’ to justify their situation.

The certificate enables you to prove your situation to your employer, and be compensated by l’Assurance maladie.

Since January 3, people who test positive must self-isolate for seven days if they are fully vaccinated, a period which can be reduced to five if they test negative on the fifth day and have not had symptoms for the last 48 hours. 

If they are unvaccinated, they must self-isolate for 10 days, or seven if they test negative at this time and have not had symptoms for the last 48 hours. 

Contact cases that are fully vaccinated do not need to isolate; those who are not fully vaccinated need to isolate for seven days.

If you are required to isolate but are unable to work from home, you may be entitled to a leave of absence with compensation. To do this, you must request a certificate of isolation – an ‘attestation d’isolement’– and send it to your employer.

What is an ‘attestation d’isolement’?

It is a certificate that you can give to your employer in case you are required to isolate and cannot work from home. It enables you to be compensated by your Caisse primaire d’assurance maladie (CPAM) for the time you are unable to work.

How can I get one?

It can be filled in by your GP or directly by yourself. To do this, visit the declare.ameli.fr website (or the MSA website if you are an agricultural worker). 

Once the checks have been carried out, you will receive your isolation certificate within seven to 12 days on your Ameli (Maladie Assurance) or MSA account. You can then present it to your employer or training organisation.

How can I justify my absence in the meantime?

While waiting to receive your certificate, you can inform your employer of your need to isolate by: 

  • Forwarding them the SMS or confirmation e-mail that confirms you have tested positive for Covid-19, or considered to be a contact case. 

  • Forwarding them the e-mail that confirms your request for an isolation certificate.

What if my child is a contact case?

If your child is a contact case and you have to keep them away from school, the school must provide you with a certificate of isolation. The CPAM can also do this.

What if there is a problem with my certificate or request?

If you have a problem, you can contact the CPAM via the message board on your Ameli account. You can also communicate with the Amelibot chatbot on the Health Insurance website or call 36 46. 

If you are an agricultural worker, you can go to your personal space on the MSA website to find more help.

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