France launches Covid-19 health pass for cultural venues, including cinemas and museums

Visitors to the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and other leisure landmarks will need to prove their coronavirus status via an app

Visitors will need to show Covid-19 vaccination proof or negative test results via a health app to enter cultural attractions in France from today. AFP
Powered by automated translation

People in France planning to go see a movie, watch a game of football or visit a museum will now need to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination or negative PCR test results.

Called the cultural pass, the TousAntiCovid app is now a necessity for visitors seeking entry to cultural and leisure venues in one of the world's most-visited countries.

The app shows whether a person has been fully vaccinated, or has recently tested negative for Covid-19. It is required for anyone attending events, venues or public places with more than 50 people as of Wednesday.

All visitors over the age of 18 must download the app and show a QR code to gain entry to places such as museums, theme parks, exhibitions and more. The code details health information about each attendee, including vaccine records and recent PCR or antigen test results.

Children over the age of 12, who have only recently become eligible to receive Covid-19 jabs in France, will need to start using the pass from Monday, August 30. Minors under the age of 12 are not yet required to use the health pass.

Venues that fail to check health passes of visitors could face fines of up to €45,000 ($53,000) or even prison time.

The same rules are set to be extended to restaurants, cafes and shopping malls, said France’s President Emmanuel Macron in a televised address to the nation last week.

Also known as the EU Digital Covid pass, the health pass is set to be mandatory to access most public places in France. Using it means that visitors can remove their face masks once inside an event or a venue.

In shops, businesses or on public transportation, masks remain obligatory.

As infection rates of Covid-19 rise across France, face masks are also required to be worn outside again in some parts of the country. This includes in the southern Pyrenees-Orientales department, which borders Spain and the Mediterranean Sea and in much of the western Charente-Maritime department near Bordeaux, a region that is a popular tourist spot.

France is seeing new cases rise to an average of 7,000 per day. The country has recorded 5,952,339 Covid-19 cases to date, according to data from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.

The UK has singled out France for special restrictions because of concerns over a different mutation: the Beta variant.

France is the only country on Britain’s amber list where vaccinated UK travellers cannot visit without facing quarantine on their return.

Updated: July 21, 2021, 12:44 PM