Family holidays in France? Children over 12 must now have a health subscription – .

Family holidays in France? Children over 12 must now have a health subscription – .

France has recently extended the obligation of its health passport or health pass for children aged 12 to 17. This means that anyone over the age of 12 must show proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative COVID-19 test to enjoy many tourist activities such as eating in restaurants, visiting the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and parks in theme like Disneyland Paris.

If you’ve been planning a mid-term trip or family vacation to France this fall and your children or accompanying minors are not vaccinated, this could complicate matters. This is because you will need to present a health pass to access almost any place in France. The health pass is a QR code that indicates that the holder is vaccinated or has recently recovered from COVID-19 (at least two weeks ago and not more than six months ago). Unvaccinated people can show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, but this test must be done within 72 hours. This means that if you are visiting France for a week or more, those who are not vaccinated will essentially have to get tested at a pharmacy or health clinic every three days or so.

Tests are no longer free and generally cost € 25 for a rapid antigen test performed in a pharmacy, € 5.20 for a self-test kit and around € 44 for a PCR test. If you or a member of your party or family need regular testing, the cost of travel could increase dramatically over time.

Health cards are required to access most cultural, entertainment and leisure venues in France © Getty Images
Health passes are required at most sites. You will need to present them in restaurants and cafes, whether you are sitting inside or outside on the terrace. They are also required in bars, clubs, museums, theaters, cultural attractions, large shopping malls and theme parks. If you are traveling from one part of France to another, you will need it to board long-distance trains and domestic flights.
According to French rules, the following vaccines are authorized: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca – including Covishield – or Johnson & Johnson. The final dose of the vaccine should be taken at least seven days before or, in the case of the single injection vaccine, at least four weeks.
The health passport rule applies to anyone over 12 (with a two-month grace period). If you are traveling to France from a European Union country or any country adhering to the EU COVID digital certification program, you can present the paper or digital version of the certificate in places where the health pass is required.
If you are traveling to France from a non-EU country, you can subscribe to a health subscription via a dedicated online system, available in French and English. Each person, including between 12 and 17 years old, must complete the form and provide supporting documents which include a PDF, PNG or JPEG copy of their passport, official vaccination certificate and airline tickets. Once they are submitted through the online system, you will receive a QR code in approximately three days which can be printed and presented where the health pass is required.
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This article was first published on October 6, 2021 and updated on October 18, 2021


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