France has removed its vaccine pass scheme from today (Monday, March 14), ending the need for people to prove their vaccination status or immunity to Covid to enter public places such as cafes, restaurants and cinemas.
The pass was introduced on January 24 this year, and replaced the health pass, which allowed people to also use proof of testing negative for Covid to enter public places under the scheme.
The relaxation comes even as France’s health minister Olivier Véran warned on Friday (March 11) that France must be "extremely careful" about rising Covid cases.
"We are currently seeing a rebound in France, in the countries around us, meaning Covid cases are no longer falling, but rising," he said.
"On the other hand, the hospital rates continue to fall, but the rate of decline has started to slow down.
He said that this development will not impact the plans to relax Covid measures on Monday.
What does end of vaccine pass mean for people living in France?
There will be no more need to show proof of being vaccinated or having had Covid (between 11 days and six months prior) when going to places such as:
- Long-distance public transport services
However, you will still need to follow the health pass requirements to enter health-linked establishments, such as hospitals and retirement homes. This means having proof of being fully vaccinated, having recovered from Covid, or having a negative Covid test taken within the past 24 hours.
The end of the vaccine pass is not likely to benefit more than around three to four million people, although it could be fewer, based on the 3.5 million estimated people who were reported to be without a vaccine pass from February 15.
What does it mean for tourists to France?
France’s domestic vaccine pass scheme is not the same as its Covid entry rules. So, in that respect, nothing changes in terms of the rules for entering France.
See our breakdown of France’s travel rules in our article here: Covid-19: Rules for travel to and from France
Once the visitor is in France, the lack of a vaccine pass will simplify life, as they will not need to show any documentation to go to restaurants, tourist attractions, bars, etc.
End of indoor masks
France has also ended its requirement for people to wear masks in certain indoor public settings.
Under the new rules, masks will be
- No longer obligatory in shops, offices, or workplaces, even in enclosed spaces
- Still required in medical establishments and on public transport
- Still required in elderly care homes (Ehpads), and any establishments caring for fragile, handicapped people
- Still allowed, at the personal choice of the wearer, including for pupils and teachers in schools
- Mask-wearing still recommended for people who test positive for Covid, and for at-risk contact cases, for symptomatic people, and for health professionals