France plans system to convert US and other non-EU Covid certificates

Confusion over how visitors from countries such as the US may use ‘health pass’ set to be ironed out with launch of new online service in August

28 July 2021
By Liv Rowland

France is preparing to launch a new system enabling visitors from non-EU countries to obtain a French-format health pass certificate in early August, The Connexion has been told.

So far there has been confusion around how non-EU visitors may have their test or vaccination certificates recognised in France for health pass purposes – but this is set to be clarified before the new health pass extension rules come in.

As the law extending the health pass to services such as cafés and long-distance transport is still being vetted by the Conseil constitutionnel, it is not expected to be enforced with checks before August 7 at the earliest. 

By this point an online system for non-EU visitors should be in place.

Pharmacies union USPO today told The Connexion it has been told by the French government that a new specific system is coming in “at the start of August”.

“It’s not operational yet, but the ministries say it’s being worked out and it will work via consulates and be online,” USPO said. “It won’t be done by the pharmacies.”

No information on whether this would be consulates in France or ones in the original country before travel has been given.

The pass sanitaire involves proof of having had full vaccination with a vaccine recognised by France, having had Covid and recovered from it, or having had a negative test in the last 48 hours.

French certificates, which can be scanned into the TousAntiCovid app for easy use, have QR codes compatible EU-wide, as do other EU travellers. Due to a specific agreement, it is now also possible for UK visitors to scan their NHS vaccination certificates into France’s app.

Up to now some venues have reported they will accept other non-EU certificates as long as, in the case of vaccination certificates, they relate to a vaccine acceptable in France. This is the case for example, for the Eiffel Tower.

Read more: How will foreign visitors use the health pass for going out?

There has not been official confirmation of this policy from the French authorities.

The US Embassy in Paris states on its website that it has so far had no official information on how those vaccinated outside the EU may obtain a health pass. “Some people have been able to have their information entered into the French system by a French doctor or pharmacist, others have been told this is not possible,” it adds.

USPO told The Connexion there has been no formal instruction to pharmacies to convert non-EU certificates and if some have done so they had no authorisation for this.

Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne has previously stated he is working on a system for validation of foreign certificates, along with the digital and health ministries.

Tourist industry media tourmag.com reported yesterday he has told them he is still “working on it”.

“We should be able to turn their vaccination certificates into a [French-recognised] QR code,” Mr Lemoyne added. “The foreign office has put in place a special team of around 50 people to work on this specific issue.”

Read more

How will foreign visitors to France use the health pass for going out? 

How can people in France obtain the pass sanitaire? 

NHS QR codes now compatible with France’s app 

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