What to know before going to France?

This text is part of the special Plaisirs booklet

While the Government of Canada still recommends avoiding non-essential travel outside the country, more and more travelers are struggling with ants in their legs. What should you know before heading to France?

First, although the vaccine passport has been required since August 9 to visit bars, restaurants, terraces, museums and other public spaces in France, it is not necessary to have it in hand to cross the borders. However, the complete vaccination schedule or a negative PCR or antigen test carried out less than 72 hours before boarding are necessary.

However, it is better to take out the French health pass as soon as possible in order to be able to access public places once at your destination. To do this, non-Europeans * aged 18 and over must send a request to convert a foreign vaccination certificate into a French health pass online, to which must be attached a valid passport and a transport ticket, in addition a copy of the nominative vaccination certificate issued by the competent authorities of his country of residence, showing the type of vaccine used. Why not just use the Quebec QR code on site? Because it is not readable in Europe.

However, even if they take care to make the request on time, many travelers do not get the precious sesame until the day of their departure. “In the absence of conversion of the vaccination certificate, the negative result of an antigen test carried out in a pharmacy, offered throughout France, makes it possible to obtain a health pass valid for three days (72 hours)”, specifies the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

Note also that from September 30, 2021, teenagers aged 12 to 17 must also have their health pass.

On the spot

In recent weeks, travelers have reported having been able to convert their Quebec QR code into a French code in certain pharmacies in France. However, this procedure – which is not encouraged – is not possible everywhere. “I went to a pharmacy for an antigen test giving the right to a“ 72 hour pass ”, says Marie-Ève ​​Vallières, currently in Brittany, but the pharmacist used my Quebec QR code to create a French health pass. […] I had submitted an online application three weeks before I left, but did not get it on time. »Cost of the operation, carried out in 45 minutes: € 50 ($ 75).

In Europe for work, Andrea Doucet Donida experienced a similar scenario when she arrived in Paris. “The pharmacist was well aware, I was certainly not the first [à en faire la demande], she says. However, you must have the batch number of the vaccine, information available on the Quebec application. “

A positive RT-PCR or antigen test attesting to his recovery from COVID-19 of at least 11 days and less than 6 months can also serve as proof to obtain the French health pass.

Plan his return

At the time of this writing, regardless of the destination, it was still necessary to schedule a PCR test (and not antigen) less than 72 hours before returning to Canada and download theapplication ArriveCAN. In France, the easiest way is undoubtedly to make an appointment through the site Doctolib.

Although it is possible to obtain the result of a PCR test in less than two hours at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport sampling center (cost: 70 € for non-French people), this solution should constitute a plan B, the place being very busy. “Paris Aéroport has joined forces with the Cerballiance laboratory, so it is possible at Paris-Orly and Paris-CDG to carry out a PCR test, the result of which is returned within 48 hours for a normal PCR test, and within 1 to 2 hours for a rapid PCR test, explains Tiphaine Paucot-Landelle, assistant in charge of crisis communications at Groupe ADP. To be tested, however, you must have a plane ticket and make an appointment beforehand on the Doctolib site. “

* The detailed list of countries can be found on the website of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

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