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How French Covid-19 vaccination certificates will help with travel

Documents have been handed to patients at vaccination centres since May 3

Covid-19 vaccination certificates are being handed to everyone in France who has attended their appointments – and are the first step to a Europe-wide health certificate. 

This is intended to make cross-border travel easier and safer. Most countries, even those that have opened their borders to foreign tourists, demand proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test, vaccination, or recovery from the virus.  

Read more: French health pass can be used for EU travel from June 17 

It is also likely, as France continues to reopen, that the health certificates, or ‘passes’, which will integrate all such information in a standardised digital form, will be a requirement to attend certain large-scale events, both indoors and outdoors. 

Since May 3, vaccination certificates have been given out at vaccination centres, GPs and pharmacies to everyone who has received an injection. They will demonstrate that the person holding the certificate is protected against Covid-19, and will be integrated into the health certificate scheme in due course, it is planned. 

One is given at the time of the first vaccination, and it should be brought back for the second so the details of this second jab can be recorded on it.

From late May, patients vaccinated before May 3 will be able to download certified vaccination certificates themselves via a specific teleservice set up by the Assurance Maladie. 

Those who prefer paper versions can opt to have one delivered by mail by telephoning a free helpline on 0800 08 71 48. The helpline is open seven days a week from 09:00 to 20:00. 

The certificate includes the identity of the person vaccinated, the vaccine they received and the date of their most recent injection – and whether it was a first or second dose.  

Read more: Do I need a Covid PCR test to fly between regions in France? 

It also includes two matrix barcodes: The first is a unique Datamatrix – similar to a QR code – that will allow authorities to authenticate the document, as required. 

The second is a QR code that stores an electronic version of the certificate in the TousAntiCovid mobile app so holders do not have to carry the paper version with them.  

Health authorities have said that the content of this certificate is likely to change to adjust to European standards. It will be recognised in France and across the EU. 

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