Will you need a health pass to sit outside at a French cafe?

Will you need a health pass to sit outside at a French cafe?
Photo: Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP
There has been some confusion over whether a health pass is required for anyone who wants to do that very French thing of sitting outside a cafe with an espresso, watching the world go by.

The answer, right now, is that a pass sanitaire is not officially a legal requirement, though some cafes and bars in France may already demand it.

But if the bill extending the health pass, which was approved by MPs in July, passes the scrutiny of the powerful Conseil Constitutionnel, you will be required to present one as early as the second week of August.

The Conseil is due to deliver its verdict on the bill on Thursday, August 5th. Assuming there are no issues, the new measures will come into force four days later, on Monday, August 9th.

From that date, you will need to show a health pass to access bars, restaurants and cafés, even if you are happy sitting outside. If you are only visiting France, you can find out how to access the French health pass here.

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And Minister Delegate for Small and Medium Enterprises Alain Griset has confirmed that the law requiring health passes would be applied on cafe terraces the length and breadth of the country. 

“There was a debate in Parliament. The law was passed, we are awaiting the decision of the Conseil Constitutionnel and if the law is confirmed, it will be applied,” he told Franceinfo.

“Restaurant owners are the first to be concerned and interested in this health pass,” he said. “They asked us to reopen, to work. The condition for them to work is this pass.

“We are in the same boat, everyone must understand that the health pass is the freedom to work.”

Restaurateurs will be able to check the validity of a health pass presented by customers by scanning its QR code using the TousAntiCovid Verif app.

“There will be reminders of the law, the police services will be responsible for checking and controlling,” Griset added.

READ ALSO OPINION: Anti health passport protests will continue in France, but this is not a new ‘yellow vest’ moment

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