How do I get a Covid Green Pass to visit Rome?

What is the Covid green pass?

The green pass is the Italian name (“certificazione verde”) for the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

The EU Digital Covid Certificate is an EU-wide standard for proving vaccination or recent test-result status for the following:

  1. Double vaccination against Covid-19 (or single if that vaccine was Johnson & Johnson)
  2. Recovery within 6 months from the virus that causes Covid-19
  3. Or a negative test performed within the preceding 48 hours

In Italy this comes is in the form of a downloadable QR code, or a PDF that can be printed out (that also carries the QR code).

What does the green pass entitle me to do in Rome?

From August 6th, 2021 a green pass has been required in Italy for:

  • Restaurants, bars, ice cream parlours and pastry shops for consumption at table indoors
  • Performances open to the public, sporting events, both outdoors and indoors
  • Museums and places of culture, shows
  • Swimming pools and gyms
  • Private parties, such as wedding receptions
  • Festivals and trade fairs
  • Conventions and congresses
  • Spas and fitness centres
  • Gaming halls and betting shops, bingo halls and casinos

Outdoor activities such as dining and drinking at outdoor tables do not require one.

I am from the US, Canada, Israel, Japan, or the UK. How do I get my green pass?

If you are not an EU resident you cannot get the so-called “Green Pass” but if you are from Canada, Israel, Japan, the UK, or the US, you should officially be able to use your country’s vaccination certificate instead.

This was confirmed in a ministerial decree issued by Roberto Speranza, minister of Health, on July 29th. Here is the relevant page on the Department of Health website in English and Italian. The ordinance is called Ordinanza 20 luglio – Ministero della Salute, and the text can be downloaded as a PDF here. The relevant paragraph is Article 7.

I am from the EU – how do I get my Green Pass?

If you are an EU resident, each country is enacting the certificate in its own way. You need to get your country’s official Covid vaccination certificate app, or a certificate with a QR code, and it will be compatible with the Italian system. This is known casually in Italy as a “Green Pass” even though the term is imprecise.

Unfortunately EU residents who have received the Sinovac or Sputnik vaccinations are not accepted by the EU system.

I am not fully vaccinated – is there any other way I can get a Green Pass?

You still can’t get a Green Pass; however the Italian system theoretically allows you to show the results of a PCR test taken in the previous 48 hours, which can act in lieu of other certification. To achieve this you will need to take a Covid test in Rome at a lab that will send you a test certificate with a compatible QR code. See our article about obtaining a Covid test in Rome >

Why do some places in Rome accept my non-EU certificate, but others don’t?

Unfortunately, application of the rules for non-EU citizens are somewhat inconsistent. At major institutions like the Colosseum and the Vatican, they are well prepared and will honor the use of non-EU certificates from the countries listed above.

Unfortunately at other places the verification of your certificate will be up to the worker on the door, who may or may not be informed as to the eligibility of vaccination certificates from the countries listed above.

Worse, some systems are automated and will only allow people to enter if their QR code scans correctly.

Both the automated systems and people on the doors of restaurants, bars, etc. are likely using the app VerificaC19 (which you can download yourself to test: Android | iOS) which will only accept EU-issued QR codes.

Another issue is that some countries (e.g. we have heard this is true for some provinces in Canada) have a very unofficial-looking vaccination certificate, sometimes hand-written. It is strongly advised to get the most official-looking document possible if you can.

What should I do if a place isn’t accepting my non-EU vaccination certificate?

If you have a certificate that isn’t from the EU but is from one of the countries listed above, our advice is to bookmark the website listed above, and even carry a printout of the PDF of the official ordinance mentioned above, to carry with you in an attempt to persuade the person who won’t accept your certificate that they should do so. Also try showing the person the answer on this web page, under the question “Quali altri Certificazioni extra-Ue vengono riconosciute come valide in Italia per spostamenti e attività?

I don’t have a certificate or a negative test result, and/or am from none of the countries listed above

It’s still not the end of the world: if the weather is fine in Rome, you can can still eat, drink, and make merry outdoors without a green pass.

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Photo credit: AFP

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