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For those 16 and up, a negative test can no longer substitute for a vaccination for pass sanitaire

Hi all — this has been alluded to in some threads but I wanted to put it here straight out.

For persons aged 16 and up, as of Monday Jan 24, France changes from the pass sanitaire to the passe vaccinal.

What does this mean, practically?

For those who are fully vaccinated, not much. The pass vaccinal is granted on the basis of a full vaccination scheme, just as the pass sanitaire was. If you already had a pass sanitaire, it’s the same thing.

For those who aren’t vaccinated though, they have a problem. Up until now, in place of the pass sanitaire acquired via proof of vaccination, they had the possibility to take a Covid test and get a temporary pass sanitaire with their negative result (When this first started, the negative test result was good for a pass sanitaire for 72 hours; later it was revised to only be good for 24 hours).

As of Monday, the unvaccinated will NOT be able to use a negative test to get your way around being vaccinated (or having your proof of vaccination) to get into museums, restaurants, cafes, long-distance trains, airplanes, etc.

Children aged 12 to 15 continue to have the possibility of getting a negative test as a temporary passé sanitaire/passe vaccinal.

All of this of course is only for your activities once you are in country. The rules for entering France remain the same. Basically to come as a tourist, you have to be fully vaccinated. Those who aren’t vaccinated have to meet one of a very few stringent exceptions (no tourist will meet these exceptions, so the practical effect is that France isn’t allowing in unvaccinated American/Canadian tourists).

Posted by
6192 posts

Thank you, Kim. We're planning to visit France in a few months, so I like having some idea of how the system works. I know things will probably be changing, but I appreciate your putting the rules into understandable form for us.

Posted by
1142 posts

As always Kim, thanks for the updates.

Posted by
362 posts

I'm reading that testing within 48 prior to entry to France is required, even for the vaccinated. Is this correct?

Posted by
12 posts

Kim, thank you for the information. I am new to this forum and have seen you are you so up to date on the scene in France? Again, thanks for the information!

Posted by
4132 posts

Being new to the forums, you may not have noticed that many posters list their locations with their names. Kim is in Paris. There are many people on the forums who live in Europe and, like Kim, they are a huge help to the rest of us.

Posted by
16 posts

Yes, thank you so much Kim for the help! I catch up here every few days and it's been a great help; I feel like I'm not the only one "bearing down" on gathering all the information needed.

Posted by
4126 posts

Heading back to Paris this coming Autumn. Your updates are greatly appreciated Kim !

Posted by
3 posts

Hi Kim

Wondering will they accept a covid recovery letter rather then a booster. My partner and I scheduled for trip end of February. He was vaccinated x2 with Pfizer but it has been more than 270 days. He had covid last week so now it seems useless to get the booster given recent infection. We prefer to have the booster later once immunity wears off.

Regardless any insight on if they will let you qualify for the health pass with covid recovery letter rather than the booster given he had been vaccinated x2 prior.

It is hard find info since the booster requirement is new and our trip is soon.


Posted by
991 posts

Marsha - I was wondering the same thing. I ran across an article from The Points Guy regarding the new vaccine pass.

This is what the article states regarding certificates of recovery.

While in some cases, showing proof of recent recovery from COVID-19 can take the place of one’s initial dose of COVID-19 or a booster dose, this is only applicable if the person contracted COVID-19 and recovered from it while in the European Union.
“U.S. and other foreign certificates of recovery are not accepted,” per the embassy.

And embassy site:

Beginning February 15, the booster must have been received within four months of the second dose. A positive test result or certificate of recovery from OUTSIDE the European Union does NOT count as a dose.

I was hoping to use recovery as a "booster" myself until I found this information.

Posted by
538 posts

Are there really Americans who got a booster 4 months after their 2nd dose? Weren’t our rules that it had to be 6 months or more? New French rules mention a 4 mo window.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks Gail. Helpful info. We may have to cancel the France part of the trip as do not want a booster 2 weeks after recent infection which he would have to do for the trip. The booster makes sense but less utility after a recent infection.
We were doing Spain also and it seems they accept covid 19 recovery letter. Trying to confirm that on the Spain forum. If not back to the drawing board for a trip. It is his 40th birthday and we both work in healthcare so we need a vacation for sure.