If you have plans to travel to France this year, a booster dose of the Covid vaccine will be required in order to be eligible for France’s new vaccine pass. The pass will be required to visit venues such as museums and restaurants.
Legislation passed in the France National Assembly on Sunday in a vote of 215-58 in favor of updating the current health pass to a vaccine pass which will be required to access a number of goods and services throughout the country.
The details of the vaccine pass will include a booster shot following the full dosage (2 or 1 shots, depending on the vaccine) of any approved Covid vaccine in France.
Travelers should note that a booster dose will not be required for direct entry into France – only testing and proof of full vaccination applies for international arrivals. But with these new restrictions involving the vaccine pass, your travels will be very limited if you don’t have the booster.
Here’s all you need to know about France’s latest travel restrictions.
Access To Restaurants, Museums, And More Requires Updated Vaccine Pass
Once the new bill becomes law in the next few days, France’s health pass or “pass sanitaire” will be named the vaccine pass. The conditions for the pass will include a booster dose of the Covid vaccine for all persons eligible to get it.
Previously, a negative Covid test was accepted in lieu of proof of vaccination to access restaurants, bars, museums and the like. Now, it’s vaccination or bust.
If you’re traveling to one of France’s overseas territories (Guadeloupe or French Polynesia, for instance) make sure to check the local restrictions as the new vaccine pass may also apply.
According to reports in France 24, persons aged 16 and over will be eligible for the vaccine pass.
The pass will be needed in order to access a number of services, including:
- Bars and pubs (exception for collective catering according to news)
- Sports arenas
- Trade shows
- Long distance transportation (trains, buses and domestic flights). There is an exception written in to the legislation for family health emergencies, deemed as “compelling family or health reasons”. In such cases, a negative test will be accepted for travel.
The basic health pass (proof of a negative Covid test result, a certificate of recovery from the virus or proof of full vaccination without a booster) will still be accepted for those between the ages of 12 and 15 to access all goods and services in the country.
And from February15th, a booster will be needed after four months from the previous dose in order to keep the vaccine pass valid. This is an update from the current seven month gap between doses.
The new legislation also mentions imposing tougher fines on those who present any fraudulent passes. And under the new law, holding several fake vaccine passes could result in very heavy fines (75,000 Euros) plus five years imprisonment.
What Are The Current Entry Requirements For France?
France currently has a traffic light system in place that’s related to reported Covid cases (countries are divided by green, amber, red and scarlet red) and the details of your entry requirements will depend on the color of the country you’ll be arriving from.
Here are the entry requirements for international travelers to France:
- Negative PCR test no later than 48 hours from departure OR a rapid antigen test from 24 hours before departure. If you have a flight connection, it’s the time of your first flight leaving for France.
- Proof of full vaccination against Covid by one of the approved vaccines for travel to France.
- Travelers coming from another EU or Schengen area country will only have to show their vaccine certificate for entry and are exempt from pre-departure testing.
- Persons under the age of 12 are currently exempt from the testing requirements.
- Unvaccinated travelers from red and amber list countries must produce a “compelling reason” if they want to travel to France at this time.
- Unvaccinated travelers coming from countries on the green list can show a proof of recovery from Covid (dated between 11 days and six months of travel) and or a negative Covid test prior to entry. This depends on your country of departure.
You can check the official government guidance here.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com