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France tourists required to show vaccine passport to access attractions

Tourists are now required to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19test in order to access attractions and hospitality venues across France.

This must be displayed in the form of a ‘health pass’ via a special smartphone app.

Venues requiring the health pass for entry include bars, restaurants and cafes, including those with outdoor seating.

Passes can be digital – via the TousAntiCovid smart phone app, which recognises a QR code from the NHS app – or in paper form. Digital passes will generate a QR code that is scanned on entry to a venue.

For those who cannot access the TousAntiCovid app, including the 13 per cent of mobile phone users in the UK without a smartphone, it’s possible to download a pdf of your vaccination status via the NHS website. Venues in France should accept this as proof of vaccination.

The new rule, which came into force on 9 August, is an extension of the remit of the health pass, which previously covered leisure and culture venues and events bringing together groups of more than 50 people.

The pass is available to those who can show evidence of one of the following: being fully vaccinated against Covid-19; having tested negative for the virus within the previous 72 hours; or having recovered from Covid-19 between 15 days and six months previously.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from health pass rules. From 30 August, children between the ages of 12 and 17 will also be required to show a health pass to gain entry.

The health pass now covers entry to the following: cafes, restaurants and bars; hospitals, except for emergency care; some shopping centres larger than 20,000m2; long-distance transport within France, including planes, trains and coaches; culture and leisure spaces including museums, cinemas, theatres, sports centres and swimming pools, fairgrounds, theme parks, libraries and zoos; events at places of worship; weddings held in public spaces; and communal spaces in hotels, such as swimming pools.

Essential shops, public transport stations, GP surgeries, emergency care in hospitals, tabacs, newsagents, bakeries, takeaways and services at religious venues don’t require a health pass.

A survey by French trade publication L’echommerces of 500 bar and restaurant owners found that 40 per cent said they would not require customers to show a health pass, while 35 per cent of respondents said they would.

Matthieu, who runs a bar in Aix-en-Provence, told L’echommerces: “It’s not that I don’t want to apply the pass, but when I look at the age of my clients, 90 per cent are under 30. At some point you have to put yourself in our shoes, you’ve got to work, I’ve got a family to feed.”

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