All vaccinated adult travellers entering France – and not just those from other EU countries – now need to have a booster dose within nine months of their second in order to maintain their ‘fully vaccinated’ status, the French authorities have announced.
On February 1, new rules surrounding the EU Digital Covid Certificate scheme came into effect, requiring travellers within the EU to get a booster within 270 days (almost nine months) of their second vaccine dose in order to prevent their vaccination certificate proof from expiring.
France’s interior ministry has now published a notice on its website stating that: “In order to be considered fully vaccinated, persons aged 18 and one month or over wishing to enter national territory must have received a complementary dose of an mRNA vaccine [Pfizer or Moderna] no later than nine months following the injection of the last required dose.
“The measures applied to vaccinated adults are extended under the same conditions to their accompanying minors, whether vaccinated or not.”
It means that adults who received their second dose in May 2021 or earlier but who have not had a booster will be viewed as not fully vaccinated if they travel to France within the next few weeks.
Unvaccinated travellers must have an essential reason to enter the country and must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival, having entered their contact details in an online platform prior to travel to allow for police checks to take place.
Similar – but different – rules for vaccine passes
This change in the rules may not be a problem for adults who are wishing to travel to France for holidays, as they will already most likely need to have had a booster dose in order to obtain a vaccine pass, which is required for entry into many public spaces, including restaurants, bars, cafés and ski lifts.
In France, all adults must have had a booster dose within seven months of their second dose in order to enter the majority of leisure-orientated public venues. This timeframe will be shortened to four months on February 15.
These rules apply domestically and are separate to the rules for international travel.
In the UK, booster doses should show up as a QR code in the NHS app, which can be used for international travel (although when it comes to a vaccine pass you must either download France’s TousAntiCovid app or print off a TousAntiCovid-compatible certificate).
Other non-EU tourists will be able to show their country’s vaccination documents for travel but will then most likely need to convert their certificates to a TousAntiCovid QR code to obtain a vaccine pass. This can be done in pharmacies in France.
Travellers to France from EU countries, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, the Vatican City and Switzerland do not need to take a pre-departure Covid test.
All others travellers to France aged 12 and over must show their travel operator the negative result of a PCR or antigen Covid test taken in the last 48 hours (or 24 hours if unvaccinated from the UK) and a sworn statement confirming that they are not experiencing Covid symptoms and have not been in contact with a positive case in the last 14 days.
Other countries including Spain have also applied an expiration date to traveller vaccination certificates.
Some 37.4 million people in the UK have already received a booster vaccine dose, equating to nearly two thirds of over-12s.
You can find out more about France’s travel rules on the interior ministry website.