France is making “COVID passports” mandatory for most leisure activities

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Paris – France is in a fourth wave of coronavirus infections and is still trying to get the population vaccinated. With the number of new cases rising, the French are now required to present a “COVID passport” if they want any kind of social life.

Prime Minister Jean Castex confirmed on Wednesday that the country’s new COVID certificate is now required for any leisure activity where more than 50 people are gathered. It must be presented for entry to museums, cinemas, and swimming pools, as well as festivals, theme parks, and concerts.

An employee checks a visitor’s health card at the entrance to the Puy du Fou amusement park in Les Epesses, western France, on July 21, 2021.

SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS / AFP / Getty


The passport confirms that the holder is either fully vaccinated or has recently tested negative for COVID-19 with a PCR or antigen test.

From next month, the passes will also be mandatory for entry to bars, cafes, restaurants and shopping centers. Children under the age of 12 are exempt, and it is not required in schools.

National measures come into effect as some regions re-impose local restrictions to combat rising infection rates, especially in coastal towns during this holiday season. Officials blame travel and the highly contagious Delta variant for the new surge in cases, which the prime minister has described as the fourth wave.

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Health Minister Olivier Véran said the Delta variant now accounts for 96% of new cases in France.

The Charente-Maritime region next to Bordeaux saw the highest increase in infections with a massive 766% increase in the past week from the previous week.

The region around the Mediterranean city of Perpignan, on the border with Spain, has been subject to new restrictions since last Sunday due to the high number of new infections there. Bars and restaurants that only fully reopened last month have closed again. Police chiefs in several other areas have been empowered to introduce new restrictions if the situation so requires.

The COVID passport is available in paper and digital versions and contains the holder’s vaccination card, which confirms that he has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. It can also be used by people who are not fully vaccinated to detect a negative PCR or antigen test, or evidence of recovery from COVID-19 with antibodies remaining.

After a slow start, it is estimated that 42.5% of the population is now fully vaccinated.

When President Emmanuel Macron announced the new measures on July 12, nearly 1 million people had signed up for a vaccination online.

The pass is also used for domestic and international travel as it is also used as a COVID certificate for the entire European Union. Holidaymakers traveling by plane, train or across EU borders must show it.

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For foreign travelers who want to visit France, the rules have tightened again.

People who are fully vaccinated can travel to France regardless of whether they are from a country in the green, orange or red zone, which is determined by the government based on infection rates and other data.

Non-EU citizens must provide proof of vaccination at the time of travel and sign a form stating that they are symptom-free. France, like the rest of the EU, only accepts four vaccines: Pfizer / Comirnaty, Moderna, AstraZeneca / Vaxzevria and Johnson & Johnson / Janssen.

Thanks to the high vaccination rate, the USA is a country in the Green Zone. However, travelers who have not been fully vaccinated will be required to provide a negative PCR or antigen test no older than 72 hours or evidence of recent recovery from COVID. This includes air, sea and land travelers. There is no quarantine requirement.



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