Families travelling to France during the October half-term holidays could get caught out by changes to the country’s health pass system.
Since the beginning of August, a health pass or ‘pass sanitaire’ has been a requirement in France for entry into public places and venues including cafes, restaurants, museums and tourist attractions.
The health passes do not currently apply to children under the age of 18. However, new legislation set to be in place from 30 September will require children over the age of 12 to have a health passport.
Verification is carried out by a QR code, which can be presented in digital format or paper. QR codes issued by the NHS after full vaccination are now recognised by the TousAntiCovid app. Children under the age of 12 are not affected.
To qualify for a health pass everyone aged 12 and over in a family must meet one of three criteria: proof of being fully vaccinated; a negative Covid test from no more than 72 hours prior; or proof that they have recently recovered from Covid.
The UK has only just started vaccinating vulnerable children over the age of 12. This means children who have not been double vaccinated will have to take regular Covid tests in France to prove they do not have the infection.
The cost of a lateral flow test in France is €29 (£24) while a PCR test will set a family back €49 (£42) per child.
Disneyland Paris mentions the new requirement for children aged 12 and over on its health and safety page.
Families visiting France in October will not need health passports to enter their accommodation such as campsites or hotels.
However, individual accommodation sites in France may have their own rules requiring health documents, so tourists are advised to check before travelling.
All communal facilities at accommodation sites, including swimming pools, restaurants and bars will require guests to provide health passports.