Do I need a Covid Green Pass to visit Italy? May 2022 update.

From May 1, 2022, the “Green Pass” system of Covid vaccination certification has been largely scrapped within Italy.

Depending on your carrier, until May 31 the “Green Pass” or equivalent vaccination certificate may still be required to board a flight or a cruise, but completing a Digital Passenger Locator Form (dPFL) is no longer required.

Provided you meet your carrier’s requirements, you can just fly in to your chosen airport in Italy as you used to before the pandemic, with the exception of wearing a mask on your flight.

These frequently asked questions clarify the difference between the “Green Pass”, the new “Super Green Pass“, and non-EU vaccine certificates, and what you could and couldn’t do with each. While these documents still exist, they are no longer needed in Italy for a regular visitor.

Update: from May 1st, 2022:

  • Visitors to Italy are required to satisfy the Covid vaccination/testing requirement of their carrier/airline
  • Their status is no longer checked at the Italian border
  • Visitors to Italy are no longer required to complete a Passenger Locator Form
  • Nor is any kind of ‘green pass’ or certificate required to enter museums, restaurants, etc.

The green pass (certificazione verde) is the Italian name 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/boosted vaccination against Covid-19 (or single if that vaccine was Johnson & Johnson) within 9 months
  2. Recovery within 6 months from the virus that causes Covid-19
  3. Or a negative test performed within the preceding 48 hours if a rapid flow test, or 72 hours for a PCR test.
     

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).

Unfortunately the evolving terminology chosen by the Italian government can be confusing for visitors.

From December 6, 2021, the government has made a distinction between a Green Pass generated by vaccination or recovery from Covid-19, and a Green pass generated by a test. The former is now known as a “Super Green Pass“.

If you are just visiting and you’re not from the EU, you can’t in fact get an official “Super Green Pass” – but you can use your vaccination certificate from home, backed up with photo ID, in place of a Super Green Pass.

You can also get a 48-hour “Green Pass” by doing an antigen or PCR test in Italy – find out where to get a test here – but the things you can using with it will be restricted.

Read more about the Super Green Pass >

If you are only visiting Italy you do not need a Green Pass.

If you are not an EU resident but are resident of a country on the Italian government’s “List D” you can use your official government vaccine certificate instead of a Super Green Pass, provide the last dose was within 9 months of today’s date (or 6 months after Feb 1, 2022).

As long as you have an official vaccination certificate for an EU-approved vaccine then your official government vaccination certificate should be accepted instead – provided you back it up with official photo ID (passport, driver’s license, etc.).

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.

Some countries have also integrated their country’s certification system with that of the EU – this means that for example UK residents with a valid QR code issued by the NHS for vaccinations carried out in the UK will also be valid in the EU’s system. If you want to test this out you can download the VerificaC19 app to see if your code will be approved in Italy. 

If you are an EU resident and are vaccinated, then you will already have a “Super Green Pass”: each country is enacting the certificate in its own way but within the same EU-wide system. You need to get your country’s official Covid vaccination certificate app – preferably with a QR code – and it will automatically be compatible with the Italian system. This is known casually in Italy as a “Super Green Pass” even though the term is imprecise.

You can test the validity in Italy of your own country’s QR code using Italy’s official app, Verifica-19.

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

Despite the rule change in April, 2022, you will need a Super Green Pass to:

  • Attend shows/movie theaters
  • Attend sporting events
  • Attend parties (including wedding receptions) and nightclubs
  • Attend public events including trade fairs, festivals, etc. 
  • Use gyms and indoor sporting facilities – even in a hotel you are staying in

You still need a Green Pass (but not a ‘super’ boosted one):

  • Take public transport including trains
  • Visit museums and cultural/archaeological sites
  • Drink a coffee standing at the bar
  • Eat and drink inside a restaurant

Without any kind of pass you can now:

  • Eat and drink outdoors
  • Go to a hairdressers, beauty salons, barbers
  • Go inside banks, post offices, public offices

Read more about the Super Green Pass >

You can’t get a Super Green Pass; however you can get a Green Pass: the Italian system theoretically allows you to show a QR code that carries the results of a PCR or antigen test taken in the previous 48 hours. 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 >

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.

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?

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

Vaccination certificates – whether from your home country or an EU ‘Green Pass’, are valid until 9 months after the final dose.

You can still access all the things you would need a Super Green Pass for – but you will need to take a test every 48-72 hours (depending on test type) and present the test result along with your non-EU certificate.

This is unfortunately a new rule that is not widely known, but it is written on this official government web page (under the heading “Viaggi in Europa”) which we suggest you bookmark:

Ingresso in Italia

A coloro che provengono da uno Stato estero e sono in possesso di un certificato di avvenuta guarigione o avvenuta vaccinazione con un vaccino autorizzato o riconosciuto come equivalente in Italia, nel caso in cui siano trascorsi più di 6 mesi dal completamento del ciclo vaccinale o dalla guarigione, è consentito l’accesso ai servizi e alle attività per i quali è previsto il Green Pass Rafforzato previa effettuazione di un test antigenico rapido (validità 48 ore) o molecolare (validità 72 ore).

Entry into Italy

Whoever arrives from a foreign country and is in possession of a certificate of recovery or vaccination with a vaccine that is authorised or recognised as equivalent in Italy, if more than 6 months have elapsed since the completion of the vaccination cycle or recovery, are still allowed access to the services and activities for which a Green Pass is required, subject to a rapid antigenic test (valid 48 hours) or molecular test (valid 72 hours).

If you have an official certificate of recovery from Covid-19 (in Italian, certificato di guarizione), it is valid for six months from the stated date of recovery.

The rules and terminology around vaccine and test certificates in Italy are extremely important, but can prove a little confusing.

These frequently asked questions clarify the difference between the “Green Pass”, the new “Super Green Pass“, and non-EU vaccine certificates, and what you can and can’t do with each.

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Photo credit: AFP

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