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The “European health certificate” allows travelers, vaccinated or not, to travel within Europe despite the Covid-19. Its use can be extended to other activities on site.

In France as in Europe, the return to a certain normality now involves the QR Code, in particular for tourist travel between countries, or even for on-site activities (access to museums, bars or restaurants, etc.). Entering into force in France on June 9, the health pass is compulsory for an increasing number of activities or trips in France. Its use was extended across Europe on July 1. Objective: to remove the main barriers (quarantine and screening) to the movement of citizens in the European Union and to relaunch tourism on the continent, despite the persistence of Covid-19, and to facilitate controls.

What form does the health pass take? Is it compulsory to travel? Can you travel to Greece or Spain without being vaccinated? Le Figaro make the point.

What is the health pass for travel?

The health pass, whether in paper or digital format, makes it possible to prove a person’s immunity to Covid-19 using one of the following three documents: the vaccination certificate; a negative RT-PCR or antigen test; the Covid-19 recovery certificate. In this, the health pass is not a vaccination passport in the sense that an unvaccinated person has no fewer rights than a vaccinated person.

In terms of travel, this system scheduled until June 30, 2022 is “useful to facilitate border crossings, most countries currently request to provide at the entrance of their territory documents showing a recent negative test, proof of recovery or a certificate of vaccination”, describes the government website. And to add: “Only the authorities in charge of border health checks and the personnel of authorized airlines [ont] access to test or vaccination certificates.”

Which countries recognize it and until when?

In France, the health pass has been available since June 9 and its use is planned until November 15, a date likely to be extended. The Twenty-Seven, with which Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Monaco and Switzerland have joined, have approved the European health pass, also called “European green certificate”. More distant destinations such as Ukraine or Turkey also recognize it. The Commission keeps this list of countries up to date.

In force since July 1, it pools the various “health passes” that have been or will be put in place by EU countries. Its use for travel is planned until June 22, 2022.

The vaccination certificate certified in accordance with European standards and subtitled in English is available on the attestation-vaccin.ameli.fr website. It can be printed and downloaded on the TousAntiCovid application. This certificate can then be used from 1 July when traveling within the EU.

The vaccination certificate is now available in European format on a dedicated Health Insurance website. Screenshot Health Insurance

In what form does it come?

Whether on paper or digital, the health pass is in the form of a QR Code (the modern version of the barcode). It can be scanned at different stages of a journey, in particular when boarding or during customs checks. Since April 19, any patient who has carried out a PCR test receives an SMS to connect to the SI-DEP portal (Population DEpistage Information System) and download their certificate in PDF format or on the TousAntiCovid application, which has a “travel” tab.

Since May 3, anyone getting vaccinated has been given a vaccination certificate with two QR Codes: one, the “datamatrix», authenticates the document and proves that the holder of the document has indeed been vaccinated; the other makes it possible to store a digitized version on TousAntiCovid. Since May 27, people who have been vaccinated before May 3 can retrieve this document by connecting to a dedicated Health Insurance website (attestation-vaccin.ameli.fr).

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Is it compulsory to travel in Europe?

The document is not a condition sine qua non to be able to travel within the EU. Similarly, you do not have to be vaccinated to cross the borders of the Old Continent. Nevertheless, the double dose can exempt from certain restrictions on departure, on arrival (compulsory or random screening, isolation, etc.) or on return to France.

Constraints that the non-vaccinated, on the other hand, undergo, who must provide a negative PCR or antigen test on their return to France. The vaccine can also, sometimes, grant more freedoms on the spot, according to the health measures applied by each country.

Although the European health pass is supposed to facilitate travel within the EU, many provisions are left to the discretion of national authorities: age from which children must present a negative test or proof of vaccination, different deadlines for considering that a vaccination schedule is complete… A real headache for travellers. This is the case with testing. Depending on the country, these may be antigen tests, which are rapid and economical, or PCR tests, which are more expensive and restrictive. In addition, some countries may consider people who have received a single dose as “vaccinated”, while others may consider that it is necessary to have received both doses. Travelers will therefore have every interest in finding out about the rules in force in their country of destination, in particular by consulting our map or the France Diplomatie website.

In France, the health pass is mandatory to travel to Corsica and the overseas departments. He became one on August 9 to board the plane or the train for adults.

Do children need a health pass to travel abroad?

In France, teenagers aged 12 to 17 must have a health pass from September 30. Logic: vaccination has been open to them since June 15. The document will be necessary in particular in transport (train, plane). The TousAntiCovid application will allow you to store the different certificates of your children or the people you are responsible for.

For the time being, the European Commission has not specified the age from which the “green certificate” can be used. But most European countries already require children to have a negative test on arrival, often from the age of 12. But the gauge is variable: Italy asks for it from 6 years old. Not easy to navigate for the traveler.

This article, originally published on June 25, 2021, was updated on September 9.

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