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Non-EU visitors to France can get a health pass to enter social venues
A passenger shows his Covid-19 health negative antigenic test at Lyon rail station in Paris on August 9, 2021. From August 9, 2021, the health pass is compulsory to access most of the public spaces or to travel on an inter-city train. French railway company checks travellers before boarding and delivers them a single-use blue bracelet which allow them to access the platform. GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP.

by Constant Méheut

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Visitors to France who have been inoculated outside the European Union with approved COVID-19 vaccines may now use a national health pass to enter bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms and other indoor venues, the government said this week.

The pass, which went into effect Monday, is also required for large-scale events like sports games and music festivals and for long-distance train rides and flights in the country.

There had been growing concern among non-European Union tourists who planned to vacation in France but feared that they would be excluded from most social activities if their vaccination certificates were not recognized.

The pass includes a QR code linking to a webpage that shows proof of full vaccination, a recent negative test or recovery from the coronavirus. Similar initiatives have been introduced in countries like Italy and Germany, although France’s approach is one of the strictest in Europe.

Non-European Union visitors who have been inoculated with vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency or an equivalent agency will be able to apply. Priority will be given to tourists who are either already in France or those who will arrive by Sunday.

Application forms are available online and can be submitted by email.

President Emmanuel Macron has said that France’s approach to managing the pandemic is to “put restrictions on the unvaccinated rather than on everyone.”

Although recent polls suggest that most people in the country support that policy, it has spurred large demonstrations in the past month, including nationwide protests Saturday that drew almost a quarter of a million people.

Macron hopes to ramp up vaccinations to help stem a fourth wave of coronavirus infections that is being fueled by the fast-spreading delta variant.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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