For members


Reader question: Are NHS vaccination certificates still valid on the French health pass?

Several readers who were vaccinated in the UK have told of their French health passes suddenly being deactivated - here's what is happening.

Scanning French health pass
The health pass is required to access a wide variety of venues in France. Photo: Pascal Pochard Casablanca/AFP

Question: I was vaccinated in the UK but regularly spend time in France – last night a waiter scanned my French health pass and told me it was no longer valid. What’s going on?

Since the summer the English, Welsh and Scottish NHS codes have been compatible with the French Tous Anti Covid app, which hosts the French health pass. This means that anyone vaccinated in Britain can scan their NHS QR code directly into the French app and have a working health pass for access to venues including bars, cafés, tourist sites, leisure centres and long-distance train travel. Find full details on how to upload the code HERE.

However in recent days, several readers have reported that their French health pass has suddenly stopped working.

There are two things to consider here.

1 Time-limited NHS codes – once you are fully vaccinated in the UK, the NHS app generates a QR code. However, this code is only valid for 30 days. 

This was not previously a problem with the French app, but since Tous Anti Covid began deactivating passes for people who have not had a booster, it seems to have begun to recognise the 30-day limit on these codes.

Your vaccination certificate will therefore display as ‘expired’ in the Tous Anti Covid app, meaning that any employee scanning it at a bar, restaurant etc. will receive a message saying that your health pass is not valid.

Therefore people vaccinated in the UK need to download a new NHS code every 30 days, and scan it into the French app in order to keep it functional.

2 Boosters –  as mentioned above, health passes are beginning to be deactivated for people who are eligible for a booster but do not receive it.

This was first announced as something that only affected those vaccinated in France, with tourists and visitors initially being told that their passes would be unaffected.

However, several readers with a UK vaccination certificate have reported receiving a warning that their pass will deactivate seven months after their second dose – the same rule as already in place for those vaccinated in France.

The Local has requested clarification on the rules for travellers from within the EU and non-EU countries.

In order to keep the health pass activated, you will therefore need to get a booster – either in the UK if that is your place of residence or in France if you have moved countries in between getting the vaccination and the booster. 

If you use the TousAntiCovid app you will get a warning a couple of weeks before the pass deactivated.

Those who use paper certificates will not get the warning, so it is up to them to remember their vaccination date and get the booster in time. 

Member comments

  1. My Brother-in-Law had his first two jabs in the UK. These were eventually uploaded onto Tous Anti Covid, and the Passe Sanitaire worked perfectly…until he had his booster here in France.
    On uploading his QR code for the booster the passe sanitaire failed to be recognised in restaurants!!
    This was only resolved by a member of staff at the local vaccination centre. Quite what they did I’m not sure, but it now works!!

  2. Can you get a booster without a carte vitale? I’m still waiting on mine – was double vaccinated in New Zealand over six months ago and just got the expiration warning on TousAntiCovid

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


Why Italian resorts are struggling to fill jobs this summer

Italy's tourist season is expected to be back in full swing this year - but will there be enough workers to meet the demand?

Why Italian resorts are struggling to fill jobs this summer

Italy’s tourist numbers are booming, sparking hopes that the industry could see a return to something not far off pre-pandemic levels by the summer.

There’s just one catch: there aren’t nearly enough workers signing up for seasonal jobs this year to supply all that demand.

READ ALSO: Will tourism in Italy return to pre-pandemic levels this year?

“There’s a 20 percent staff shortage, the situation is dramatic,” Fulvio Griffa, president of the Italian tourist operators federation Fiepet Confesercenti, told the Repubblica news daily.

Estimates for how many workers Italy is missing this season range from 70,000 (the figure given by the small and medium enterprise federation Conflavoro PMI) to 300-350,000 (the most recent estimate from Tourism Minister Massimo Garavaglia, who last month quoted 250,000).

Whatever the exact number is, everyone agrees: it’s a big problem.

READ ALSO: Dining outdoors and hiking: How visitors plan to holiday in Italy this summer

Italy isn’t the only European country facing this issue. France is also short an estimated 300,000 seasonal workers this year. Spain is down 50,000 waiters, and Austria is missing 15,000 hired hands across its food and tourism sectors.

Italy’s economy, however, is particularly dependent on tourism. If the job vacancies can’t be filled and resorts are unable to meet the demand anticipated this summer, the country stands to lose an estimated  €6.5 billion.

Italy's tourism businesses are missing an estimated 20 percent of workers.
Italy’s tourism businesses are missing an estimated 20 percent of workers. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

“After two years of pandemic, it would be a sensational joke to miss out on a summer season that is expected to recover strongly due to the absence of workers,” said Vittorio Messina, president of the Assoturismo Confesercenti tourist association.

Different political factions disagree as to exactly what (and who) is to blame for the lack of interest from applicants.

READ ALSO: Travel in Italy and Covid rules this summer: what to expect

Italy’s tourism minister Massimo Garavaglia, a member of the right wing League party, has singled out the reddito di cittadinanza, or ‘citizen’s income’ social security benefit introduced by the populist Five Star Movement in 2019 for making unemployment preferable to insecure, underpaid seasonal work.

Bernabò Bocca, the president of the hoteliers association Federalberghi, agrees with him – along with large numbers of small business owners.

“What’s going to make an unemployed person come to me for 1,300 euros a month if he can stay sprawled on the beach and live off the damned citizenship income?” complained an anonymous restauranteur interviewed by the Corriere della Sera news daily.

“Before Covid, I had a stack of resumes this high on my desk in April. Now I’m forced to check emails every ten minutes hoping someone will come forward. Nothing like this had ever happened to me.” 

READ ALSO: MAP: The best Italian villages to visit this year

Italy is experiencing a dire shortage of workers this tourist season.
Italy is experiencing a dire shortage of workers this tourist season. Photo: Andrea Pattaro / AFP.

Five Star MPs, however, argue that the focus on the unemployment benefit is a distraction from the real issues of job insecurity and irregular contracts.

There appears to be some merit to that theory. A recent survey of 1,650 seasonal workers found that only 3 percent of the people who didn’t work in the 2021 tourist season opted out due to the reddito di cittadinza.

In fact the majority (75 percent) of respondents who ended up not working over the 2021 season said they had searched for jobs but couldn’t find any openings because the Covid situation had made it too uncertain for companies to hire in advance.

READ ALSO: MAP: Which regions of Italy have the most Blue Flag beaches?

Others said the most of jobs that were advertised were only for a 2-3 month duration, half the length of the season (again, due to Covid uncertainty), making it not worth their while to relocate.

Giancarlo Banchieri, a hotelier who is also president of the Confesercenti business federation, agrees that Covid has been the main factor in pushing workers away from the industry, highlighting “the sense of precariousness that this job has taken on in the last two years: many people have abandoned it for fear of the uncertainty of a sector that has experienced a terrible time.”

The instability brought about by two years of Covid restrictions has pushed many workers away from the tourism sector.
The instability brought about by two years of Covid restrictions has pushed many workers away from the tourism sector. Photo: Andrea Pattaro / AFP.

“I said goodbye to at least seven employees, and none of them are sitting at home on the citizen’s income,” Banchieri told Repubblica. “They have all reinvented themselves elsewhere; some are plumbers, others work in the municipality.”

READ ALSO: OPINION: Mass tourism is back in Italy – but the way we travel is changing

To counteract the problem, Garavaglia has proposed three measures: increasing the numbers of visas available for seasonal workers coming from abroad; allowing people to work in summer jobs while continuing to receive 50 percent of their citizen’s income; and reintroducing a voucher system that allows casual workers to receive the same kinds of welfare and social security benefits as those on more formal contracts.

Whether these will be enough to save Italy’s 2022 tourist season remains to be seen, but at this stage industry operators will take whatever fixes are offered.

“The sector is in such a dire situation that any common sense proposals much be welcomed,” the Federalberghi president Bocca told journalists.