France: major rule change for vaccination pass could impact tourists’ Christmas holidays

Booster jab: Gillian Keegan discusses travel advice

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Currently, France’s health pass demonstrates that people are either fully vaccinated or have taken a negative Covid test in the last 72 hours. Every adult and every child over the age of 12 must have a pass sanitaire to enter venues.

In new legislation announced this month, President Macron announced that over 65s will soon need a booster jab to qualify for the pass sanitaire.

From December 15, people over the age of 65 will need to have a booster jab to enter venues using the Pass Sanitaire.

Their only other option would be to take regular tests every 72 hours to prove they do not have Covid.

Macron said: “We need to speed things up. From December 15, you will need proof of a booster to extend the validity of your health pass.”

He said the measures were to encourage take up of the booster jab among the older age groups.

Although 7.7 million French citizens are eligible for the booster jab, only 3.4 million had it by last weekend.

Macron said: “More than 80 percent of people in intensive care are aged over 50, that’s why a recall campaign will be launched from the start of September for our citizens, aged between 50 and 64.

“We have alerted the scientific authorities so they can indicate to us in the coming days the practical methods and deadlines to follow.”

It is not yet known whether the new measures will also apply to tourists over the age of 65.

However, as tourists are also required to use the Pass Sanitaire to enter venues, it is likely that they will be subject to the new rule.

Booster vaccinations are underway in the UK and more than 10 million people have now received the third jab.

Tourists need the Pass Sanitaire to enter restaurants, bars, museums, galleries and public swimming pools.

While accommodation will not always require the Pass Sanitaire, communal facilities such as gyms or restaurants will need the pass.

Children over the age of 12 must have the vaccine passport so will need to take regular tests if they are not fully vaccinated.

According to the UK Government website, France will accept the UK Covid vaccination certificate at the border.

British tourists are advised to check the latest restrictions before travelling to France on holiday.

PCR and antigen tests are not free for international travellers visiting France on holiday.

PCR tests cost €49 (£41) while lateral flow tests cost €29 (£24) so costs could quickly add up for unvaccinated travellers.

Wearing masks is compulsory on public transport in France for every traveller over the age of 11.

After arriving in the UK, double vaccinated tourists will need to take a lateral flow test on or before day two after arrival.

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