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

Pandemic news:

With a few exceptions, Italy is open to travellers! The country is fully open and travel is permitted freely. See if how you can travel to Rome now >

All sites in Rome are open but tickets for museums and other sites MUST now be booked in advance >

Masks do not currently need to be worn outdoors. Entry to many indoor spaces is dependent on having a ‘Green Pass‘ or equivalent vaccination certificate. What you need to know about the Green Pass >

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

This article clarifies 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.

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/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

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 knows 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 “Green Pass” – but you can use your vaccination certificate from home, backed up with photo ID, as a Green Pass/Super Green Pass.

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

You will need a Super Green Pass to:

  • Visit museums and cultural/archaeological sites
  • Attend shows
  • Attend sporting events
  • Eat and drink indoors in restaurants, bars, hotel restaurants, ice cream shops, etc.
  • Attend parties (including wedding receptions) and nightclubs
  • Attend public events including trade fairs, festivals, etc.

If you are relying on a Green Pass generated by a test, from December 6 you will still be able to:

  • Take public transport including trains
  • Eat and drink outdoors
  • Drink a coffee standing at the bar
  • Visit gyms and swimming pools.

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.

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.

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 “Green Pass” even though the term is imprecise.

Some countries (such as the UK) have also integrated their country’s certification system with that of the EU.

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.

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.

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Photo credit: AFP

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