France’s vaccine pass, in operation since January 24, means people must present proof of being fully vaccinated or having recently recovered from Covid in order to gain entry to the majority of leisure-orientated public venues.
Proof of recovery comes in the form of what France is calling a “recovery certificate” (certificat de rétablissement).
In reality, it is actually just a Covid test (antigen or PCR) that shows a person tested positive between 11 days and six months ago. From February 15, this time period will be shortened to between 11 days and four months.
This will also be backdated.
It means that if you tested positive on January 1 and you are using the result as part of your vaccine pass, then the pass will stop being active on May 1 (four months after the positive test result).
In France, being positive for Covid can essentially replace a vaccine dose when it comes to validity with the vaccine pass.
All adults (and some minors) in France now need a booster dose at most seven months after their second dose to be considered fully vaccinated, but if you had Covid then your positive test could serve as one of the doses.
However, positive Covid tests issued in the US, Australia, South Africa and many other non-EU countries are not recognised as part of the vaccine pass scheme in France.
Below we break down who can get a recovery certificate and if they can, how.
You test positive in France or another EU country
If you test positive for Covid in France then the process is simple.
Following your test, you will get sent the results by email or text message.
That message will contain a link to the government website sidep.gouv.fr.
If you follow that link you will then be able to either download your certificate, which contains a QR code, and print it off and keep it in paper format.
Or, after following the link, you can choose an option to import directly into the French Covid phone application TousAntiCovid. Alternatively, you can print it out and then scan the QR code into TousAntiCovid.
In any case, you will be able to use this QR code to enter venues that fall under the vaccine pass scheme for the next six months (four months from February 15).
If you got the [positive] test in another EU country, the result will have a QR code on it that you can scan into the TousAntiCovid application, which can similarly be used to enter venues that fall under the vaccine pass scheme for the next six months (four months from February 15).
You test positive in the UK
The UK, although not in the EU, is a member of the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate scheme. It means that test results in the UK will come with a QR code that is compatible with France’s Covid app TousAntiCovid.
You will then simply need to upload your certificate into the app to get your recovery certificate.
Other countries linked to the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate scheme
There are 33 non-EU countries that, like the UK, are a part of the Digital Covid Certificate scheme.
These are: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Cabo Verde, El Salvador, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Israel, Iceland, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom (including Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man), Uruguay, The Vatican
You test positive in the US and other unassociated countries
US vaccine certificates are recognised in France, with pharmacists around the country able to provide QR codes that are compatible with France’s vaccine pass based on the proof of vaccination issued in the US. You need to pay for this service, which can cost no more than €36.
However, positive Covid tests issued in the US are not recognised in France as a valid recovery certificate.
This means that if you test positive for Covid in the US, it will not help to get a vaccine pass.
This is explicitly stated on the US Embassy in France’s website.
The only way for people in the US and all other countries that are not members of the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate scheme to get a vaccine pass in France is to get fully vaccinated.
The meaning of fully vaccinated differs depending on whether referring to international travel rules (two doses is sufficient) or rules within France (three doses are required).