800,000 people in France could see health pass deactivated on Saturday

As France prepares for a major change to its health pass system, the health minister has warned that many people could see their pass deactivate on Saturday.

A passenger shows his health pass at the train station in France.
A passenger shows his health pass at the train station in France. Changes to booster dose requirements for over 18s on Saturday will see hundreds of thousands of people have their health passes deactivated. (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP)

“We count 800,000 people who still need to get a booster dose to hold on to their health pass,” health minister Olivier Véran told a press conference – although he conceded that this figure was “probably overestimated” and “the upper limit”. 

On Saturday, January 15th new rules come into force meaning that everyone over the age of 18 who has not received a booster dose within seven months of completing a full Covid vaccination course (a double dose of AstraZeneca/Pfizer/Moderna vaccine) will have their health passes deactivated. 

These rules are already in place for people over the age of 65, while those who were vaccinated with the single-dose Janssen vaccine face a two month deadline to receive a booster before their health passes are deactivated.

The health pass is used in France to gain access to a wide range of public venues like restaurants, bars, museums, cinemas and some large outdoor events – excluding political rallies.

In order to keep their health passes active, people must upload either a vaccination certificate from their booster shot or – if they have recently had Covid – a positive test result to the Tous Anti Covid app.

A paper version of these documents can also be presented at health pass venues.

Véran said that the government does not have figures for the percentage of those who are using proof as recovery from Covid as a means to use the health pass and have received a booster dose – this is the apparent reason that there is some doubt over the true number of people who will see their health passes deactivated.

Currently, positive antigen or PCR tests that are between 11 days and six months old can be used instead of a vaccination certificate. Three months after testing positive for Covid, you are eligible to receive a booster shot. 

READ MORE Do I need a vaccine booster if I’ve already had Covid?

Tourists, visitors and people vaccinated outside France will also require a booster to be able to use the health pass. You can read more about that HERE

How will I know if my health pass will be deactivated? 

The easiest way to see if your health pass will be deactivated is to use the TousAntiCovid app – those who do so will receive an on-screen notification if their pass is set to expire. 

You can also double-check by clicking on the “Ouvrir mon carnet” or “Open my wallet” section of the app. If your pass is set to expire, your most recent in-app vaccination certificate will carry a yellow warning informing you of the deadline to get your booster dose. 

READ MORE When will my French health pass deactivate?

There is also an online simulator to tell you when your health pass will be deactivated – this is particularly useful for people who do not use the TousAntiCovid app.

After you receive a booster, your health pass does not update automatically. It is up to you to scan the QR code on the vaccination certificate into the TousAntiCovid app. If you do not use the app, you will need to carry paper vaccination certificates, including the booster vaccination certificate, to access public venues. 

If your health pass is deactivated, it is not the end of the world. 

It is possible to reactivate your health pass once you have had the booster dose. If you are over 65, you do not even need to book an appointment to receive your booster. You can simply walk into any vaccination site and you will be given priority treatment.

You can read our guide on how to get a booster dose HERE

After receiving your booster dose, you will get a new vaccination certificate and you simply scan this into TousAntiCovid to reactivate the app.

If you do not yet have a French carte vitale, ask at the vaccine centre for a paper copy of the certificate.

The reactivation of the health pass is supposed to be immediate (unless this is only your second shot, in which case you must wait seven days). But because of a computer error, a small minority of people who receive their booster dose may also have to wait seven days before the TousAntiCovid app recognises their new vaccination status. 

If this is the case for you, you can still show paper proof of your first two jabs and booster jab which will permit you access to any health pass venue.  

Further upcoming changes

February 15th, anyone over 18 will have to receive a booster dose within four months for their pass to remain active.

The French government is also pushing to introduce a vaccine pass which means a negative test result would no longer be accepted as a means to access venues where the health pass is currently applied. Full vaccination with a booster dose will be required to gain entry to these venues. 


Member comments

  1. I had two Pfizer jabs plus a Moderna booster in France. But I lost the piece of paper with the reference number of my first two jabs. That means that the booster can not be added to my health pass. There is no way round this problem, apparently.

    1. When we received our jabs it was stressed to us the importance of holding on to those pieces of paper (we are not yet enrolled into the healthcare system here). I think if you do have photos of the documents that would help as it is the small print reference number on them that is important (if you cannot resolve the QR code).

      1. I know. I travel regularly between France and the UK. Somewhere along the way I seem to have misplaced it. Entirely my fault. But very odd that the whole digital process grinds to a halt if you don’t have a number on a bit of paper.

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For members


Where in France do you still need a face mask?

In France, masks will no longer be required on indoor transport as of Monday, May 16th. Here are rules and recommendations that are still in place:

Where in France do you still need a face mask?

Members of the public in France have been asked to wear face masks for the most part of two years, at times even outside in the street.

Since March 14th, 2022, the facial coverings have no longer been mandatory in most establishments such as shops, and as of Monday, May 16th, it will no longer be mandatory on indoor public transport. 

As of May 16th, you will therefore no longer be required to wear a mask in the following transports:

  • Buses and coaches
  • Subways and streetcars
  • RER and TER
  • TGV and interregional lines
  • Taxis

Regarding airplanes whether or not you must wear a mask is a bit more complicated.

On Wednesday, May 11th, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced that from May 16th onward it would no longer be required to wear a mask in airports and on board aircraft in the European Union. However, Germany has stated that it does not have the intention of lifting its requirement of wearing a mask on its airlines – this would include the Lufthansa airline. Thus, it will be necessary for passengers to still very to rules each airline has in place, which could be the case when travelling to a country that still has indoor mask requirements in place.

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky specified that vulnerable people should continue to wear masks, and that “a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, to reassure those seated nearby.”

Masks still obligatory in medical settings

However, it will still be mandatory for caregivers, patients and visitors in health care facilities, specifically including hospitals, pharmacies, medical laboratories, retirement homes, and establishments for the disabled. 

For people who are vulnerable either due to their age or their status as immunocompromised, wearing a mask will continue to be recommended, though not required, particularly for enclosed spaces and in large gatherings.

Masks are also still recommended for people who test positive, people who might have come in contact with Covid-19, symptomatic people and healthcare professionals.

Will masks come back?

It is possible. French Health Minister Olivier Véran does not exclude the return of mandatory mask-wearing, should the health situation require it.

What are the other Covid-19 restrictions that remain in place?

The primary restriction that has not changed is the French government’s regulation for testing positive: If you are unvaccinated and test positive, isolation is still required for 10 days, if you are vaccinated, this requirement is seven days. Isolation can be reduced from 10 to 7 days or from 7 to 5 days if a negative covid test is performed, and symptoms are no longer present.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What Covid restrictions remain in place in France?

The French Health Ministry still recommends following sanitary measures such as: wearing a mask in places where it is still mandatory, hand washing, regular ventilation of rooms, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and using a single-use handkerchief (tissue).