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UK to consider booster jab for travel abroad: Will France do the same?

A person is currently considered fully vaccinated by France for international travel purposes without having had a booster dose but this could soon change

France’s international travel rules are different from its domestic Covid health pass rules Pic: Wachiwit / Shutterstock

Reader question: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that many countries will soon ask for Covid booster shots for travel purposes. Is France planning to introduce this? 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday (December 4) that people should come forward to get their booster Covid shot because they are likely to be needed for travel to many countries within weeks.

He said that having a booster in order to travel would become “the norm” very soon. 

In France, from January 15, all adults will need to have a booster shot (unless they have had Covid recently) in order for their vaccination certificates to continue being valid as part of the domestic health pass scheme. 

Read more: Covid boosters, vaccine passes: What changes in France on January 15?

A health pass is required to enter the majority of public places in France, including restaurants, cafes, museums and cinemas. 

However, this system is separate to the rules relating to international travel. 

For that, a person is considered by France to be fully vaccinated seven days after their second dose of a Covid vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or AstraZeneca, or 28 days after a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

There has been no official statement yet that this will change. 

France’s Health Ministry said on December 1 that from January 15 it will still be possible to travel, at least within the European Union, without having a booster dose, Ouest France reported

The Connexion has contacted the French Health Ministry to ask for an update on this, and is awaiting reply. 

France did recently tighten travel rules for the UK, with non-French nationals or residents now needing an essential reason to travel from the UK to France. Those who are allowed to travel into France must take a Covid test (PCR or antigen) within 24 hours of departure, and then self-isolate for at least 48 hours after arriving, with another negative Covid test needed to end the quarantine. 

Read more: Covid-19: Rules for travel to and from France

The government in France is also aiming to change the domestic health pass into a vaccine pass this month, meaning that a negative Covid test will no longer be enough to enter public places such as restaurants, cafes and cinemas. 

This is part of France’s measures to stem the increasing rate of Covid cases, caused by waves of the Delta and Omicron variants. 

Read more: France announces 11 new anti-Covid measures

In a speech on December 27, Prime Minister Jean Castex said that vaccines were the “decisive element” to stem the spread of the variants and protect people from serious forms of Covid.

It would not be surprising, then, if France soon brought its international travel rules around Covid vaccines in line with its domestic rules. 

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Related stories:

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French Covid vaccine pass law held up as opposition contests bill

Do Americans (or other nationalities) need boosters to visit France?

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