On Aug. 9, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs began allowing non-European tourists to apply for a COVID certificate for use in France. In Aug., France began requiring use of the Health Pass, or Pass Sanitaire to dine at restaurants, enter museums, and ride intercity trains.
Tourists can apply for an EU Digital COVID Certificate at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and emailing a completed Application Form, and vaccination certificate, passport, and travel ticket in .pdf, .jpg, or .png format.
I applied on Aug. 9 and received an EU Digital COVID Certificate on Aug. 10. The certificate includes a QR code that can be added to the TousAntiCovid app, a helpful and comprehensive health application that can store your COVID certificate, scan venue QR codes for contact tracing, or view the most current news and vaccination metrics.
The department is currently accepting applications for tourists who are in or will be in France by Aug. 22. Future tourists can wait until the dates are extended in order to keep the application backlog at a minimal.
Tourists who don’t receive their EU Digital COVID Certificate in time for arrival can head to any local pharmacy and take a rapid antigen COVID test. Prior to departure back to the states, I took a rapid test at Haussmann Opera Pharmacy. Within one hour the pharmacy emailed and texted my negative result on a new EU Digital COVID Certificate that could serve as a temporary Health Pass for 72 hours.
Use of the Health Pass can differ per venue. At Chouchou Hotel, the receptionist requested to scan my Health Pass to store in my customer profile and to scan the venue QR code to contact tracing.
One restaurant in the Opera district scanned the Health Pass QR code and required customers to scan the venue QR code to log the establishment into the TousAntiCovid app Venues History. Meanwhile, another restaurant looked at the Health Pass QR code but didn’t scan it, while a third restaurant didn’t ask for it at all.
Some locations are also willing to accommodate tourists’ current vaccination documentation. At Ladurée, the iconic French bakery, a few customers came in with their foreign COVID certificates and were allowed entry.
Despite some local protests and social media posts showing the fallout of the Health Pass, its implementation has been quick and mostly welcome. With 70.3 percent of the French population over 12 fully vaccinated, most patrons were well aware of the Health Pass requirement. I didn’t notice police enforcement of the Health Pass at locations across Place Vendôme, Opera, near the Louvre, or the Champs-Élysées. If anything the streets of Paris were remarkably empty due to travel restrictions from most countries around the world.