France welcomes non-EU travellers

From 9th August the French government has set up a system allowing tourists and medical tourists vaccinated outside the European Union to obtain a health pass. The countries include the UK and the USA.

These tourists can obtain passes on the same model as French nationals established outside France.

The government previously set up a system so that French expatriates living outside the European Union and vaccinated abroad with vaccines recognised by the European Medicines Agency can obtain a special health pass.

The health pass is needed to get into leisure and cultural venues, cafes, restaurants, bars, mainline trains and domestic flights.  It will also allow non-emergency patients and visitors to enter hospitals and retirement homes.

The pass provides a QR code as proof an individual has been fully vaccinated.

France’s constitutional court has ruled that a new law requiring the public to hold a health pass to access bars and restaurants and health workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by mid-September complied with the republic’s founding charter. It also ruled that while employers could suspend health workers who refuse to get a Covid-19 shot or show proof of a negative test, they could not dismiss those on short-term contracts.

However, the court ruled that forcing anybody who tests positive to isolate for ten days, allowing them out during the day only between 10am and 12pm, would be “a deprivation of freedom”. The absence of a health pass must not be an obstacle to patients receiving treatment, the court ruled. This latter ruling is expected to cause problems at hospitals.

Italy is expected to introduce a similar pass.