We see this poster, for example from the official site of the city of Toulon:

official French poster about the covid vaccination passport regulations "Pass Sanitaire"

(Explaining that citizens now either need to show a certificate for having 1. covid-vaccination 2. covid-test negative younger than 48 hours or 3. covid convalescent for less than 6 months.)

Which seems to be 'live' on the streets in France now.

If you look closely, the lower left corner says:

W-0333-001-2003 — 20 janvier 2020

Does this mean that the French government already 'knew' in January 2020 exactly how policy in late summer 2021 should be?

For notability: that it did is the reading for this 'poster-date' found on many sites, like on Twitter at for example 'Occult_agenda' or 'President_Lisa_Trump' and many more by now, often labeled/hash-tagged as 'plandemic' or 'agenda' and discussed widely as "true, see…" …

Especially noteworthy since the first confirmed coronavirus 'case' in France was announced four days after the alleged date of this poster: on January 24, 2020. (Despite the virus now known to be circulating much earlier, but still.)

However, I see quite a bit of reason for doubt here:

  • Could be a mere typo
  • Could mean something like that the number immediately before is for identifying a regulation for 'any public posters' and the date simply gives the 'version number'/date for that regulation—similar to listing a paragraph-number of a law…

So, the question is twofold: what is the exact meaning of/explanation for this date as printed on the poster, and when exactly was this poster commissioned?

  • 2
    No pseudo-answers in the comments, please. No snarky comments anywhere, please.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 17:22

2 Answers 2


According to several French newspapers, e.g. Liberation, the explanation is that the 2020 date was a typo.

Plusieurs affiches sur le pass sanitaire indiquent une date au 20 janvier 2020, avant les premières mesures sanitaires en France. Elle est tout simplement due à une faute de frappe lors de la création du document, corrigée depuis.

Several posters about the health pass indicate a date of 20 January 2020, before the first health measures in France. This is simply due to a typing error when the document was created, which has since been corrected.

In slightly more detail, it seems the all posters were made on top of a re-used InDesign template, which wasn't updated.

Le gabarit (sur le logiciel de graphisme Adobe InDesign, c’est un fond de document qui permet de conserver les mêmes éléments comme les en-têtes et pieds de pages pour différents visuels) utilisé pour les affiches sur les mesures barrières était erroné, à cause d’une «faute de frappe». «Le copyright sur l’affiche des gestes barrières devait être “20 janvier 2021” et non “20 janvier 2020”», explique le cabinet du Premier ministre, qui plaide «l’erreur humaine».

The template (in the Adobe InDesign graphic design software, it is a document background that allows to keep the same elements such as headers and footers for different visuals) used for the 'barrier measures posters' was wrong, because of a "typing error". "The copyright on the 'barrier measures' poster should have been "20 January 2021" and not "20 January 2020"," explained the Prime Minister's office, pleading "human error".

As additional proof that this was a copy-paste error, Liberation says that in the original PDF posted (now only available on the Wayback Machine), there is an additional error, namely that the title field in the PDF properties was not updated to mention the "health pass" but had the old title of "barrier gestures" that were featured in another poster.

C’est sur ce même gabarit erroné qu’a été conçue la fameuse affiche sur le pass sanitaire. La preuve ? Dans le fichier PDF original du pass sanitaire, maintenant supprimé du site du gouvernement mais consultable dans les archives du site WayBackMachine, le titre du document mentionnait toujours «gestes barrières français» (au lieu du pass sanitaire).

The same erroneous template was used to design the famous poster on the health pass. The proof? In the original PDF file for the health pass, now removed from the government website but available in the WayBackMachine archives, the title of the document still reads "French barrier gestures" (instead of the health pass).

My screenshot (with evince) of the properties of the fumbled version via wayback machine linked by Liberation:

enter image description here

The title field matches that of earlier posters properly on "barrier gestures", from March 2020, such as this one.

enter image description here

Also note that the catalogue entry for the first "barrier gestures" poster has nearly the same verbiage (highlighted below) as in the subject field of the infamous poster on the health pass: "les gestes à adopter pour se protéger du coronavirus" in the subject field of the health-pass poster is out of place. The catalogue entry for the gestures poster has the verbiage "les gestes à adopter pour se protéger et protéger les autres du coronavirus" (there's a slight addition there to "protect others").

enter image description here

There are newer versions of this "gestures" poster in which that verbiage can be found in the subject fields inside the PDF as well.

The government website doesn't carry this particular version of the "gestures" anymore, but one (dated 14 October 2020) can be found carrying even the W-0333-001-2003 reference id, which was probably a duplication error as well; I think the reference ids are/were also supposed to be unique to each poster.

enter image description here

  • 76
    I don't personally find it weird to forget to update the year in a date, especially if the month I'm doing it is January. I still write 2020 on stuff.
    – user11643
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 1:50
  • 36
    @fredsbend: This should be a classical case for Occam's Razor, then: Is the "2020" on the poster just a typo? Or is the poster evidence that the French government (possibly in accord with some kind of world government) had already planned in January 2020 that people with negative tests, those who are vaccinated, or those who are recovered from Covid will receive in summer 2021 a health certificate that will allow them to participate fully again in several public activities and spheres? Occam's Razor says: Of course you go for the latter if you are a certain kind of internet users.
    – Schmuddi
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 6:50
  • 31
    It's even possible that the users don't know how to edit those fields: I'm reusing an inherited PowerPoint template for a minor report that was first created in July 2020, a fact emblazoned at the bottom of the slides. It's not an ordinary foil master, or a footer as far as I can tell. Some kind of watermark? After 15 mins of fruitless bashing I simply gave up trying to solve this wizardry and moved on to writing the content that's of interest to any normal reader. Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 7:59
  • 3
    @TomGoodfellow More than once I've similarly spent ages trying to even cover up such a comment (sometimes embedded in a background image, sometimes not). In one case I picked the colour and drew a rectangle the same on my master slide; then all slides had a useless coloured box, but at least they didn't have an error.
    – Chris H
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 10:40
  • 5
    @LangLаngС I can't upvote my own comment ;)
    – user11643
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 15:22

For the extra skeptics out there, another strong indication of this date being a mere typo is the name of the "anti Covid" app mentioned near the bottom of this PDF document:

Téléchargez l’application TousAntiCovid

If the French wiki page is to be trusted,

  • V1.0 of the app was released on the 2nd of June 2020 under the name "StopCovid".
  • V2.0 was released on the 22nd of October 2020 under the name "TousAntiCovid".

Even assuming some elaborate scheme, the conspirators would have been very clever indeed to plan this name change ahead :)


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .