Publication:

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - 2021-11-21

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FRANCE MAKES MORE CHANGES

TRAVEL TIPS

Lonely Planet

Most tourists who were vaccinated outside of the EU are now required to pay €36 to apply for a French health pass, and they’ll have to apply for it in designated pharmacies across France, rather than through the now defunct online system. The news comes as the French government agreed on Friday to extend the use of the health pass un l uly 3 , . The health pass is compulsory across many places in France and indicates the holder is vaccinated against COVID-19, has recovered, or has tested nega ve for it. It’s required of residents and tourists, and was extended to children over the age of 12 in September. Visitors from the K also have a rela vely uncomplicated way of presen ng proof through their NHS vaccina on cer cates. But since its incep on, visitors from elsewhere have reported di culty in obtaining a compa ble vaccina on pass. A temporary applica on program was introduced this summer before an online system opened to non-European foreign na onals in September, only to be replaced by the pharmacy route last week. If you’re traveling to France, here’s a guide to understanding what the health pass is, where you need to present it, and how you can apply for it wherever you’re traveling from. WHAT IS THE HEALTH PASS? The pass sanitaire (health pass) indicates that the holder has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (in France that means one week a er the nal dose of a P zer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Covishield vaccine course or 28 days a er a Johnson Johnson vaccine), or has tested nega ve in the past 72 hours with either a PCR or an gen test. Those vaccinated with Sinopharm or Sinovac can also apply for a French health pass if they have had a single booster dose of either the P zer or Moderna vaccines. WHERE DO I NEED TO PRESENT IT? It came into e ect on July 21, gran ng the holder access to any leisure or cultural venue across France with a capacity of more than 0 people, including museums, galleries, theaters, cinemas, concert halls, exhibi on spaces, nightclubs, discos, zoos, open-air fes vals, spor ng venues, theme parks, libraries, swimming pools, and tourist a rac ons like the Ei el Tower. In August, the health pass was extended to restaurants, cafes and bars (both indoors and outdoors), long-distance trains and coaches, domes c ights, hospitals, nursing homes, and large shopping malls. As of September 0, it’s required of anyone over the age of 12. French ci zens can upload their vaccina on or tes ng status to the ToutsAn Covid app, or apply for a paper version with a R code. HOW CAN TOURISTS APPLY FOR THE HEALTH PASS? If you’re traveling from the E or any country signed up to the E digital COVID cert program, you can present your digital COVID-19 cer cate or any approved European health cer cate that documents your vaccina on or tes ng status. The French embassy in Germany con rms that if the cer cate issued to you appears with a European ag, your cer cate is compa ble and “will be recognised during checks in France in the same way as French cer cates.” If you’re traveling from the K, the French government con rmed that people vaccinated in the K can now import their NHS R code into the TousAn Covid app. They can also present a digital or paper NHS cer cate showing their full vaccine status as it’s now recognized by the E ’s digital COVID cer cate system. If you’re traveling from the S you must apply in person through a dedicated pharmacy in France when you arrive in the country. You’ll be required to pay a fee of up to (about S 44) for the service. However, it’s important to note that not all pharmacies o er this service. You might nd one easily in ci es such as Paris, but as you can see from this map there aren’t that many par cipa ng pharmacies spread out evenly across France. When applying, you’ll be asked to show your passport and o cial vaccina on cer cate (CDC card). The pharmacist will convert the details from that cer cate into the French system and provide you with a R code that can be scanned at venues where the health pass is required. In the mean me, a number of tourist sites are accep ng the CDC vaccina on card from American visitors. The Palace of Versailles con rmed to Lonely Planet that Americans are permi ed to show their CDC vaccina on cer cate for entry, and it has been reported that the Ei el Tower and the Louvre are allowing it too but it is not generally accepted otherwise as a health pass. If you’re traveling from elsewhere, follow the same process that applies to American tourists. WHERE CAN I GET TESTED IN FRANCE? Tes ng is widely available in France in most pharmacies and medical facili es but you’ll generally need to make an appointment in advance. Most pharmacies can do an gen tests for about 2 , and PCR tests can cost about 4 . When using the health pass as an unvaccinated person, your tes ng status is only valid for 72 hours, which means you’ll need to be regularly tested to enter venues. You can nd tes ng loca ons near you through the COVID tes ng map.

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