France shuts online ‘Pass Sanitaire’ application for foreign arrivals

It was supposed to be the cornerstone of the European strategy to open up to tourism when it comes to issuing vaccination certificates. However, it seems the strategy keeps changing to keep up with the current times. In the summer, when France opened up, they announced that all sorts of indoor places including museums and restaurants would be required to validate the vaccination status of those visiting. Only those who are vaccinated would be able to visit these places.

As per the French Government, since July 21, 2021, the “sanitary pass” was mandatory to access leisure and cultural places accommodating more than 50 people.

As of August 9, the threshold of 50 people disappears and the “sanitary pass ” also applies in cafes and restaurants, including terraces , in certain large shopping centers of more than 20,000 m² according to a list drawn up by the prefect in the departments where the virus is actively circulating.

Travel by plane, or for long journeys by train and bus are also concerned.

The same rules applied for those who were travelling from outside France as well. The French Government offered to issue a Pass Sanitaire to everyone who arrived in the country, which would then be imported on the TousAntiCovid, the French app for Covid-19 updates and track and trace. At the moment, it is expected that the Pass Sanitaire will be required to access indoors in France at least till July 2022.

Once you have this pass, it also works across all other EU countries to establish your vaccination status. So it is not like you have to arrive in Switzerland and get another pass. The French one is interoperable, and similarly, if you have one from Switzerland, it works across the EU and so on.

Getting the Pass Sanitaire

There have been many twists and turns in the tales of how to get the French Pass Sanitaire. When the process started in July 2021, everyone was asked to go to a French pharmacy to get their vaccination cards converted to an online French vaccination record. Then, in August 2021, France moved to a system where you had to send an email with all the appropriate documents to get your Pass Sanitaire. There were three email addresses, one for US arrivals, one for Canadian arrivals and one for the rest of the world.

When I had my trip in the works, I sent them an email to request my Covid-19 vaccination pass, where I was informed that the QR code-based pass application was now moved to an online application system.  This system went online on August 27, 2021.

To receive my Pass Sanitaire, I had to create an account on this website, and submit my tickets for arrival in France, a copy of my Passport and a PDF of my vaccination certificate which indicated both doses and the dates. I downloaded everything and sent it along their way on September 3, 2021. However, it took up to ten days for the French to process my pass and send it back. In the meantime, I heard some people got their passes in a day or two, and some people had to reapply to get their Pass Sanitaire.

I made a printout of the pass as well as downloaded the TousAntiCovid app on my phone, where the pass was stored and I could use it in France at restaurants and the events I was visiting France for.

However, it seems this website has also been shut down for now. As I checked the site on November 1, 2021, to take some screenshots for this article, I saw this on the home screen.

At present, there is no guidance from the French government about when will this process be opened up again. However, fret not. If you have a vaccination certificate with a vaccine that is accepted in France, you would still be able to flip it out and show it to the French. I had to in fact show my CoviShield certificate to the immigration officer to be stamped into the country.

Having said that, since you will still need a pass to enter most indoor venues across France, there are ample number free testing kiosks set up across Paris at least, which do a free Rapid Antigen Test and get you a result in 10 minutes. The result can be used to give you a temporary Pass Sanitaire for 72 hours, which you can use to access all sorts of indoor venues which require the pass. Then, rinse repeat.

Update: A new system has been put in place to convert your vaccination certificate into the French system on a paid basis.

Bottomline

To move around France, you will need to provide a Pass Sanitaire, which is going to be issued against your fully-vaccinated card at a designated website at this point in time. However, the website has been closed to new applications for now. Perhaps this is a maintenance move or something. So, if you still are due to receive a pass for upcoming travel to France, you can instead carry your origin country vaccination certificate, and once there, get a RAT test done to get yourself a temporary certificate.

Have you applied for the Pass Sanitaire? What has been your experience getting it issued?


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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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Comments

  1. Hi

    It seems very easy, for UK vaccinated at least; download the French ‘ToutAnitCovid’ app and scan the QR code of your NHS vaccination certificate. The app generates the Pass Sanitaire QR code and stores it in a wallet in the app. You just click to open it for presentation at the border or in venues that require it.

    Hope of use.

  2. I got mine but My son (dual Citizen France-USA) and my Wife (USA) requested the same day never got anything…I request a second time and wrote an e-mail to the French Consulate in Atlanta no response.
    Shame to All those “Officials”

  3. I applied on September 24 for the health pass for a trip to France planned over Christmas. Over a month later I’m still waiting for a reply. I checked the status of my application yesterday and had received a message that my application has been waiting for so long that it was about to be erased without being treated unless I renewed it.

  4. Applied in Sept. for our 11 day trip to Paris. Never got our Passe. Did three COVID tests at an amazingly friendly pharmacy on Ille St. Louis where we were staying. Once we arrived home in Hawaii we received rejection notices from Passe saying” your request for the Passe has been rejected because your are not currently in France.”
    What a disgrace to even say that. Two days ago after getting our new USA Passports we again tried to reapply only to notice a red banner at the top of the page saying” this site is temporarily closed”
    We can only picture the monstrous long lines leading to the many pharmacies throughout Paris and the totally pissed off workers at these pharmacies. What is going through the minds of the French govt. ? We guess they just don’t want our money. We love France and the local French. But we guess governments are governments.
    Cancelling our flights, rental car, apartment and our rental Penichette.

  5. You should be aware the démarches-simplifiées platform is used for a lot more documents than the pass sanitaire, why write up an entire article with subtle missinformation?

    • @DG For the locals, yes. For people travelling from outside France, this is the only use case. Please tell me where is the misinformation then?

  6. I got mine in September, though it came after I got back from France. My wife did not though. She has applied again.

    Just got back from Spain now, and they did not require anything.

    In France our covishield certs were accepted.

    • Oh is it ? Indian vaccination certificates were accepted at airport and elsewhere ? Did one have to carry passport all the time to supplement the certificate ?

      Thanks

  7. Hi Ajay

    For your international audience can you please do an article explaining connection between domestic and international terminal at Mumbai airport?

    This is a humble request.

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