How to get a Covid-19 test in Rome
Many countries require a negative test certificate before they will allow you across their border; many airlines require a negative test certificate before you are allowed to get on the plane. These certificates are usually required in the English language, but the Italian authorities will only issue certificates in Italian – and countries such as the UK will not accept a translation of the test results – even an officially certified one – only the original.
To find out the current rules, take this short questionnaire, which is always up to date and will let you know exactly what you need to do as far as Italy is concerned. For other countries, please check the respective government websites, AND information required by your airline if you’re flying.
Below we explain the different Covid tests available in Rome, and how to get a Covid test certificate in English. (Note that tampone means “swab”.)
All of these tests detect the presence, traces, or after-effects of the SARS-Cov-2 virus, which causes the disease Covid-19. There are three types of test:
Antigen test (sierologico)
This tests for the presence of antibodies that were caused by, or are currently being caused by, the virus. Depending on results, this could mean that you have had the disease in the past, or that you still have the disease.
You can get an antigen test for around €40-€50 at any analisi cliniche – medical laboratories (usually private) that are found all over the city. Use Google Maps to find your nearest lab. Results are available within about 4 hours
Rapid flow test (test rapido)
This tests for viral traces, costs about €30, and produces results in less than an hour. A positive result would indicate that you probably have the virus, but may also be recovering from it, and for 100% surety – and particularly for clinical uses – a positive or negative result would need to be confirmed by a PCR test. These tests are available by appointment at analisi cliniche, and without a reservation in the white tents outside many pharmacies.
PCR swab test (tampone test molecolare)
This is the definitive Covid test, the type that can be used for travel and other legal reasons. The test is offered for free at drive-in centers by the ASL (health service) but to book a test you need a codice fiscale – an Italian tax code (similar to a social security or national insurance number). If you have a c.f. you can book a test here. Please note that the ASL does not provide test results in any language other than Italian.
If you need, or would prefer, to go to a private clinic, you can book a test here – prices as indicated on the list.
How to get a Covid test certificate in English in Rome
If you need a test certificate in English, you can book a PCR test from the private English-speaking clinics mentioned on this page, or by callout, for around €90-100, or from organizations like this one.
Finally, if you are flying and need a negative test, there are special provisions at Fiumicino Airport that allow you to obtain a prescription to have the test at the airport’s own facility. Please follow the instructions on the official airport website. Unfortunately at the time of writing it is still unclear if the airportservice provides a English-language test certificate.