Vaccine passports in France: French COVID-19 health pass available to Australians

Fully vaccinated Australians are eligible for France's COVID health pass. That's great news because France now requires a COVID pass as a condition of entry to cafes, restaurants, galleries and museums, before boarding an aircraft or an intercity train. The pass proves you've been vaccinated against COVID, or that you have been tested with a negative result within the last 48 hours, or that you have recovered from COVID-19.

Australians are eligible provided they've received a vaccine that is approved by the European Medicine Agency, provided the second vaccine dose was administered at least seven days before the application and are aged 18 or over. Both AstraZeneca and Pfizer (Comirnaty) are approved by the EMA.

The COVID health pass is not currently required for those aged 12 to 17 years, but it will be from the end of September. Minors under 12 are not subject to France's health pass requirements.

The pass, with a QR code that can be scanned on entry, is available either in digital format, on the TousAntiCovid app, or in paper form. The easiest way to find the health pass website is to Google "apply for French covid certificate for foreigners". The online application is in English as well as French and relatively user friendly. You'll be asked to insert the date you intend to arrive in France and the website suggests that your visit commences "within the coming days".

The French health pass for foreigners is the same as that available to French citizens.

According to the French Government, the health pass is interoperable with the EU Digital COVID Certificate scheme for travel within the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican. These countries are increasingly demanding proof of vaccination status as a condition of entry to dining and cultural establishments and even hotels. Travelling in Europe without an EU Digital COVID Certificate is likely to become more difficult in future.