Please sign in to post.

French "Pass Sanitaire" for Travelers from USA as of 7/21/21 (the first day it went into effect)

Hi everyone!! We successfully entered Versailles today! I do not know if this forum allows photos but I took a photo of the signs that were posted. Basically a Venn Diagram of three ways you could be considered to have the Pass Sanitaire...a negative test taken in the previous 48 hours*, a certificate of vaccination, or a certificate of having had Covid and having recovered. There is an app you can get on your phone, and for French people, pharmacies (and doctors) can enter a QR code onto the app to create the so called Pass Sanitaire, but for us non-French, it only is a way to find out if you have been in contact with someone who has come down with Covid. We are from Delaware and we have that app...called "COVID Alert Delaware." I will keep the French app ("AntiCovid") on my phone until we leave France, but for all intents and purposes, it does nothing for us unless you take a Covid test. And, for those who might be worried about the appearance of their CDC card,, you should not have to worry. Mine is unusual in that there is a date crossed out that looks like scribbling, and a new date written in. So far no issues, including getting on an airplane (twice) and getting into Versailles! But they will want your passport to make sure the name on your passport matches the CDC card. Tomorrow we visit the Louvre and the Orsay, and if we have any issues getting in I will post. I will try to post the photo that was posted at the entrance of Versailles, but I have summarized it accurately here. Bon voyages, everyone, and as Rick says, "Keep on travelin'"! *I did find out about the Covid tests offered in the pharmacies. As of today (7/21/21) they are take-home kits that have a QR code somehow attached to them. You take them and after 15 minutes you get your results and you load them onto your phone app using a QR code that the test has. They cost €25 and I am glad I decided to take my chances first, not having to spend that amount! More money for the cafes and pattiseries!

Posted by
1454 posts

This is great news!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to share this info. I'm scheduled to travel in Sept. and it's been super helpful to hear of everyone's actual experience. Thanks again!! Enjoy the rest of your trip!!!

Posted by
100 posts

I echo what Carrie said!

Thank you so much for your post, Ann! All of the details are very helpful and apprecaited!
We arrive in France in Sept and plan to visit the gardens of Versailles for the fountain show. Would love to hear more details of your trip if you are able (& not just as it pertains to Covid!) :) I hope you have a wonderful time!!

Posted by
46 posts

Thank you so much for the post! Those of us headed to France wait to hear about more of your experiences.

Posted by
27 posts

Bonjour Ann
If I’m following your topic on the Covid19 kit,
You bought it in a French pharmacy for 25 euro and they are valid for USA entry ?

I was just stressing today on where I would get my test in Paris
Thanks for sharing you adventure
Diana

Posted by
5 posts

BinaxNOW Covid 19 home antigen test is approved for air travel back to the US. It is $150 for a pack of six tests and can be purchased at eMed.Com It is done with someone over a video call who "proctors" the test. You get results in about 10 minutes and results are uploaded onto the company's app (Abbott's NAVICA mobile app).

Posted by
15 posts

Hi Everyone, I will try to reply to all thoughts at once! 1. We did NOT purchase the Covid test. A pharmacist told us about it, and pointed it out to us on the shelf, and I thought it would be helpful to post. 2. I do not know anything about the test that someone mentioned that was €150 for 6 tests and had to do with talking to someone on the phone. Also whoever mentioned that pharmacists can scan a QR code for American tourists did not read all the way down that post. That is NOT possible right now, according to my own experience and that of many others. 3. I was very disappointed with our experience at Versailles. When I purchased the tickets on July 2 for our July 21 visit, we had no choice but to pay extra for the "Magical Show of Fountains". I emailed them and asked, and actually got a response. But while we were out in the gardens (approximately 2:30-5pm yesterday July 21) not ONE fountain was running. There was water in the pools of the fountains, but not one fountain was actually spouting water. My French is not good but I do know some words and can read fairly well. All the signs (posters) I saw proclaiming the "Magical Show of Fountains" did NOT say anything like "once an hour" or "starting at 6pm" or anything like that. From what I could tell the fountains were supposed to be going all day and they were not. 4. I knew ahead of time it was going to be a lot of walking but it ended up being too much for me. My daughter's steps app on her phone showed that we walked more than 10 miles. We had to transfer from the Metro to the commuter train at Montparnasse and that was a lot of walking and stairs. Then we walked from the station to Versailles. I believe there are buses you can take from the station but we chose to walk. And I also do know there are taxis. Then we walked around the inside of the Chateau. (It was nice, but not as nice as St Peter's in Rome.) Then we walked all the way down to the large pond in the gardens. BTW I had to pay extra for my student kids (ages 15) to get into the garden. The free admission for them was just for the Chateau. I hopped the Petite Train to get back to the Chateau from the big pond because I knew I'd have trouble getting back. The golf carts were way too expensive for someone who wants to be there a long time but I sure wished I could have afforded one!! Then we walked back to the station, transferred again, and walked back to our unit. For the first time in 2 weeks of travel I developed a blister! Luckily I listened to Rick's advice to pack along moleskin, but at least it is good to know there must be a pharmacie within 3 blocks of anywhere in Paris and they are very well stocked. I hope I answered everyone's questions! Today we go to the Louvre and Orsay; if we have any trouble getting in with our CDC cards, I will post!

Posted by
15 posts

Diana, I am not sure about the Covid testing for reentry into the USA. We will not be re-entering from France, but from Germany, so it doesn't pertain to me. I will definitely post about that when we cross that bridge, but it won't be for another 3 weeks!

Posted by
4 posts

Hi Ann - I’ve heard there are far fewer crowds recently. Was Versailles as crowded as I’ve always heard it is?

Thank you!

Posted by
2042 posts

Since we got off track a little in a post above I thought I would post the following link to the information on the fountain shows in Versailles in case somebody else wants to go

keep in mind they are not continuous as apparently the poster above believed but have a couple of blocks during the day. I thought it was signed when I went but it’s been several years ago.

Personally I like the fountains a lot better than the inside of the Château but that’s just me

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.european-traveler.com/france/tips-on-visiting-the-musical-fountain-show-at-the-palace-of-versailles/amp/

Posted by
15 posts

Michael H, and All, Yes there are fewer crowds! And the hot spots are all doing timed admission due to Covid and that helps as well! Today we did the Louvre and Orsay. Both were well worth the time. All they asked for to get in was my pre-purchased ticket and my CDC card, no passport for either me or the kids was requested! They just glanced at our CDC cards and let us in. Both venues had lots and lots and lots of space to enjoy the wonderful works of art!!

Posted by
109 posts

Thank you for the update, Ann! Good to know the Louvre is accepting CDC cards as their website says otherwise.

Posted by
9914 posts

I agree with the others...good to know your updates and so happy the Louvre is OK with the CDC cards.

Posted by
6725 posts

The fountains are IMHO only interesting when they are running and they are gorgeous then and worth the extra money BUT they only run for about 90 minutes in the morning and then again late afternoon. You can leave the garden for other parts of the estate like the Hameau and then return for the late fountains: we went just for the fountains a few years ago
https://janettravels.wordpress.com/2016/02/15/fountains-of-versailles-a-little-chaos/
And then a couple of years ago went with friends for the chateau and also the fountains. If you just want to see the fountains, there is no significant line to enter the gardens for the fountains -- I think we had about 6 people in line in front of us for tickets.

Posted by
4154 posts

The govt uses "pass" which is basically an English loanword, "passe" being the equivalent French word (see "Passe Navigo", the Paris public transit card)... But then the 'e' is silent anyway so the difference cannot be heard!

Posted by
15 posts

Hi everyone, I just wanted you all to know that we (myself, age 60, my daughter age 18, and two twins, ages 15) all got into Giverny Monet's Gardens today with our CDC cards. No-one but Versailles has asked for our passports at the same time. I suppose Versailles did that to confirm our identity, but at Giverny, as at the Louvre and Orsay, they just briefly looked at our CDC cards, checking the dates I suppose, to make sure 14 days had passed since the last one. Easy and voi-la! In we went! (Masks are required at all locations even outdoors in the Gardens; they are not super strict so when we were outside and socially distanced we would slip them off or down to breathe better and then back up when we approached someone or went inside.) I am posting something else today on Normandy! Keep on travelin'!!

Posted by
46 posts

My trip isn't for a few weeks but I found this on another site. Pretty simple and straight forward for anyone that wants to try and transform their CDC card into an EU Health pass. The location they give is a vaccination center near Notre Dame - so if anyone tries it please post how it worked out for you. Again I can't vouch for the information but it seems reasonable.

https://parisbymouth.com/how-to-transform-your-american-vaccination-card-into-a-french-health-pass/?fbclid=IwAR3LmldhCZSAKQil86gpMfVIbRGoM1N5x0x-bWegpBRPg11zSpeftUNRN1g

Posted by
2042 posts

There’s now a report on Tripadvisor of someone who was able to do this at the vaccination center in Nice France so there’s at least a little evidence of success

Posted by
8504 posts

Unfortunately the vaccination center in front of the Hotel de Ville talked about in the Paris by Mouth post were told to stop because they were flooded with Americans and it took up too much of their time. But it was good for 24 hours.

No reports of problems at the vaccination center in Nice (yet). The gouvernement claims it will have a solution by August 1.

Posted by
3 posts

My concern is that I will be sticking to very rural areas (apart from the first couple of days in Bordeaux City Centre). I fear restaurant, cafe's, etc. in rural areas will have never seen the CDC card before, and won't accept it.

Posted by
258 posts

We are (right now) sitting in a restaurant in saint-Malo. We were asked to scan a QR code. The waiter walked away when we were doing it and then took the QR code away and took our order. I’m not sure what he would have done if I mentioned that my phone came up blank. Bon appetit.

Posted by
50 posts

@rustywrh I have the same concern. If in a tiny town without a PS (because can't get the CDC card converted) and need to eat, what if a small restaurant/cafe won't accpect the CDC card, what if there' no small shop to get food, even worse what if a hotel/B&B/AirBdB wants to see a pass.
The only alternative would be to get tested every couple of days, but for two people for 3 weeks that runs into a very large additional sum of money.

Posted by
15 posts

Hi martin et al, Today is now August 2, and we have been in Belgium (7/24-7/27), Amsterdam (7/28) and Germany (7/29 thru today). I do believe that the CDC card will work even in rural areas. It worked in Giverny. However, we have been gone from France for over 1 week. Belgium never asked us for anything, but they all wear masks everywhere. It is mandated inside. In Amsterdam, many fewer people wore masks outside but always inside including public transportation. And in Germany, we have been asked for our CDC card only here in Bavaria. Each German state is different. If we did not have our CDC card for our Bavarian hotel, we would have had to be tested. I observed people in the lobby with a rapid test. Did the establishment hand them out? I do not know. I am posting now a new post on an app in Germany called "Luca." It's honestly a bunch of hogwash because it's like one of the previous posters said: they ask you to scan a QR code. If they can see "Luca" on your phone they just let you in. I am the only one in our group who has cellular data (I am travelling with my kids) and once the maitre-d sees my app QR code, they let all of us in. I believe it is only for government regulations but the individual establishments don't really care...they care more about the business. Please remember now, I am describing GERMANY not FRANCE. But since we have not been in France for over a week, I cannot speak any more about France. Good luck everyone!

Posted by
11440 posts

I'm going to repeat this for the I don't know how many times.....

The French Government has said that sometime this week, before the pass becomes official, that they will have a way for non-europeans to convert their proof of vaccination into a QR code.

The QR code is not required in restaurants yet.

JUST BE PATIENT.

Posted by
13 posts

As Ann posted above, through last Friday - Aug 29th (for us) the CDC card was enough to get into all the normal tourist hotspots. From d'Orsay, Versailles, Opera Garnier, etc.. It was again, super easy, super quick, and not too annoying. The only place it was a bit annoying - due to the multiple "access" points - was Versailles which required showing the card and/or our ticket at multiple points of entry (and going through metal detectors). That's more a "special" situation as the grounds are both "free" and "pay" depending upon where you are. IOW, though, keep the card handy but safe as you will be presenting it when you might least expect to.

Long term, one has to worry about cardboard cards holding up over time, so a more permanent and/or durable option must be found. Hopefully, this all passes in time, but I can see it being a while longer before all parts of the world are able to move on from checking things like vaccination status or testing results. But I also think by the time it is all sorted out and streamlined, it will be past the time of need. Until then, my passport and CDC card are staying safe (relatively) in a ziploc bag away from water, sweat, or other dangers to paper.

Posted by
258 posts

We’ve been driving around Brittany since the 1st. We were at the Museum of Brittany in Quimper yesterday and it was the first time we were asked to show our CDC cards. They were accepted without any problems.

Posted by
8504 posts

Thomas, that QR code scan at the restaurant was for being able to trace you if you had been exposed while in the restaurant. If you didn’t have a QR code, the restaurant had a ledger for you to sign. If the restaurant had been controlled while you were there —unlikely—- the restaurant would have been fined.
The QR code for screening goes into effect tomorrow.

Posted by
12 posts

In Avignon. Returning to Paris August 11 and then to the US on August 18. Does anyone have the link for the form that needs to be mailed to the French government with proof of vaccination to obtain the QR code?

Thanks!

Posted by
2 posts

August 10th and we got into Versailles using our CDC card today. They didn’t bat an eyelash. Just took one look at our CDC cards (at the main palace and the Petit Trianon) and waved us in.

On August 9th, we tried three pharmacies and a vaccination center. Were told no but all four and two didn’t have a clue what we were asking for until a French person offered help. Don’t waste your time. France isn’t prepared to convert CDC cards to the Health Pass yet. It doesn’t seem like there is much to do.

Posted by
7 posts

Followed the instructions from the French Embassy in the US found here: https://franceintheus.org/spip.php?article10408
I received a confirmation that they had received our application packages, but there is no indication as to how long the response time is. We're scheduled to travel on August 29, so hopefully we'll receive a response by then.

Posted by
2 posts

I followed the instructions last night using the french link. I had to use Google Translate to fill out the form. I received my QR code this morning. My trip is 9/2.

Posted by
2 posts

I submitted my email for the health pass on 8/10 (been here since 8/8). Have only gotten an automatic response. Every single store, museum, restaurant and cafe has taken the CDC card. Most of them barely look at it. At least for now, using the CDC card has been no problem.

Posted by
258 posts

We’ve been here since the 1st, put our email in on the 10th, and received our “approved” email (not the one acknowledging that we submitted) on the 12th. But it didn’t have a QR code! We went back to using our CDC cards and it’s worked fine. We’re leaving today so it’s not worth trying to fix.

Posted by
2 posts

Arrived in Paris today 8/25. After a nap, asked the front desk about getting the pass. They said go to a pharmacy in Gare de Lyon that was 20 min away. Walked there and went into the first pharmacy we saw. Showed them our CDC cards, and 10 euros later we walked out with our passes. Easy peasy…Bon chance!

8/30 - Just saw Caroline’s post below about striking out at gare de Lyon. To clarify, the pharmacy that we went to can be found if you are walking north on rue de Bercy on the left side (across from the actual station) you will see a green pharmacy cross. Go up the stairs, and it’s to your right called “Pharmacie Gamma,” directly across from it is a hobby shop. The pharmacy shows up on Apple Maps if you type in gare de Lyon and zoom in, and their phone number is +33 143 07 5217 if you want to call first. Hope this helps.

Posted by
24 posts

After submitting documents by email and waiting for QR from government for two and a half weeks, (have been in Paris since 4th August) went today to try pharmacy in gare de Lyon. Tried three different ones near the station without luck.