Covid-19: all about the new way to obtain a health pass for non-vaccinated people

While the obligation to present a health pass is extended to trains, planes, interregional buses, bars and restaurants, certain shopping centers, hospitals and nursing homes (accommodation establishments for dependent elderly people) this Monday, August 9, the government has unveiled two new measures to facilitate obtaining the health pass and the Covid-19 screening strategy. They should make it possible to unclog pharmacies and screening centers, which are overwhelmed with test requests: between July 27 and August 2, 4 million PCR and antigen tests were thus carried out, a record.

The first measure concerns the extension of the validity period of a negative test, which goes from 48 hours to 72 hours. The second concerns self-tests, which can now act as a health pass. In other words, people will be able to present a negative self-test to places open to the public and subject to the obligation of the health pass. For this test to be valid, it must be carried out under the supervision of a health professional. The objective: to avoid fraud. Because if a person carries out a self-test at home, nothing can assure the authorities that the test has indeed been carried out on this same person.

The health professionals authorized to supervise these self-tests are the following: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dental surgeons, physiotherapists, midwives and medical laboratory technicians. Other people who are not health professionals, who work under the responsibility of a professional authorized to supervise these actions, may also be mobilized during these screening actions. In a document addressed to these health professionals and published this Monday, August 9, the General Directorate of Health (DGS) details the procedures for carrying out the supervision of self-tests. Here are the key points.

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Employees subject to the vaccination obligation will also be able to use self-tests

The self-tests carried out under the supervision of a health professional may be carried out by people wishing to have a health pass to go to places where it is compulsory, but may also be mobilized by employees subject to the vaccination obligation. , in order to get to their place of work. As the General Directorate of Health at Capital indicates, “the self-tests will be open to everyone. Thus, the deployment of screening operations by self-testing under the supervision of a health professional is aimed at people over the age of 18 who are not symptomatic and who are not contact cases”.

The places where the self-tests will be supervised

From the week of August 9, self-tests can be carried out under the supervision of health professionals, in community pharmacies or in centers specifically mobilized for screening. And this, “as part of large-scale screening operations organized by a local authority or a body of public or private law”, can we read in the document of the DGS. The government intends to target “highly frequented” territories as a priority, in particular tourist areas and stations offering long-distance trains. For employees subject to the vaccination obligation, the supervision of self-tests will take place “within establishments health, social and medico-social”, indicates the DGS to Capital.

The sequence of operations

As is the case in the vaccination centers against Covid-19, the supervision of the self-tests will be divided into several stages. Once they arrive at a center, individuals will go through three “zones”, whose missions have been detailed by the General Directorate of Health.

  • The “welcome area”: people will have to fill out an administrative information form, asking them in particular if they have symptoms of Covid.
  • The “test area”: a health professional will explain to small groups of five to ten people how the self-tests work, who will carry them out under his supervision. The professional will be responsible for storing them pending the result. If people encounter difficulties when carrying out their self-test, the professional will be present to guide them.
  • The “results and computer input area”: people will have to wait 15 to 20 minutes for their test result. Once the latter has been revealed, the healthcare professional must enter it into SI-DEP, the platform where all the results of the test laboratories are recorded. If until now the self-tests were excluded from the health pass, it is because they could not go up in this digital tool.

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If the result of their self-test is negative, people will receive an SMS and an email to retrieve their QR code. Their health pass will thus be valid for 72 hours. But if the test result is positive, a message and an email will be sent to them to indicate the steps to follow: isolation and carrying out a PCR test as soon as possible. If they wish, the people tested can request a certificate in paper format.

Self-tests do not replace PCR and antigen tests

The self-tests will be valid within the specific framework of the health pass. They do not replace PCR and antigen tests in the event of suspected Covid-19 contamination: symptomatic people cannot therefore carry out self-tests. “Self-tests are not recognized as proof for the health pass in the context of travel abroad, between mainland France and overseas territories and between France and Corsica. In addition, a positive self-test does not generate a certificate of recovery and does not trigger the contact-tracing device”, adds the general direction of health.

The sale of self-tests is no longer limited

If previously the General Directorate of Health imposed a limitation on the delivery of antigenic tests to health professionals, at the rate of one box per day when it contained more than 15 tests and two boxes if it contained less than 15, this restriction is now lifted. “This limitation is no longer maintained with regard to the current situation, the delivery of antigenic tests being permitted without limitation as long as it remains adapted to the forecast activity of screening by health professionals”, can we read in the document published by the DGS this Monday, August 9. Regarding the supply of tests, it should be provided by the regional health agencies.

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