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EUROPEAN UNION

What is Italy’s ‘green pass’ for travel and how do you get it?

The Italian government has announced the introduction of a new Covid 'green pass' for travel and events. But what exactly is it, and when is it needed? Here's what we know so far.

What is Italy's 'green pass' for travel and how do you get it?
Photo: Piero Cruciatti/AFP

**NOTE: This article is no longer being updated. Please find the latest news about Italy’s green certificate here.**

Following a string of announcements and updates about the ‘green pass’ from the Italian government in recent weeks, here’s an updated summary of what we know about the scheme.

Who needs a ‘green pass’?

Italy’s certificazione verde or ‘green pass’ was first introduced to allow domestic travel between regions, and people who live in Italy can also use the pass to travel overseas and return to Italy without quarantining.

The Italian government has said the pass will soon be extended to foreign visitors to Italy, and that it will also be required for anyone attending wedding receptions, concerts and other large events in the country once they are permitted again from mid-June.

READ ALSO: Italy’s travel ‘green pass’ to be valid from first Covid-19 jab

Children under the age of two are exempt from the requirement.

The pass will be available to anyone who has either been vaccinated, has tested negative for coronavirus within the past 48 hours, or has recently contracted and recovered from Covid-19.

For the moment, people coming to Italy from outside the European Union will still need to follow quarantine and testing rules, which vary depending on the country you are travelling from.

Travellers to Italy from EU and Schengen zone countries, the UK or Israel may enter the country if they can show proof of a negative PCR test result from within the previous 48 hours. The previous quarantine requirement from these countries has now been scrapped.

What exactly is the ‘green pass’?

This is the name being used in Italy at the moment for any document which certifies that the holder has either been vaccinated, has tested negative for coronavirus within the past 48 hours, or has recently contracted and recovered from Covid-19.

While a digital version of the certificate is expected to be available by summer, passes issued in Italy are currently in the form of a paper certificate – or three different certificates, to be precise.

These are in fact the same documents already being issued to those who have tested negative, recovered, or vaccinated.

A passenger shows her negative coronavirus test certificate before boarding a Covid-tested train on the Milan-Rome route. Photo: Piero Cruciatti/AFP

While paper certificates can easily be forged, the penalties if you’re caught doing so are severe.

The Italian government’s latest emergency decree states that the possible prison term for anyone using counterfeit or altered official documents will be increased by a third.

Anyone found making false statements to obtain the pass could be fined up to 3,000 euros.

How do I get a ‘green pass’?

In Italy, the paper certificates are issued by the vaccination centre, or in the case of recovery, by a hospital, family doctor or pediatrician.

For those who are vaccinated, the certificate will be issued from the first jab, Italy’s government has confirmed.

It had previously said that certificates issued after recovery or vaccination would remain valid for six months, though in the case of vaccination this has now been extended to nine.

Photo: Piero Cruciatti/AFP

Certificates obtained by testing negative, meanwhile, are to be valid for 48 hours and can be issued by testing centres or pharmacies in Italy.

The results of rapid antigen tests available for free at train stations in some Italian cities can also be used as certification.

Italy has confirmed that for now it will recognise equivalent documents issued in EU countries, and those certifying certain vaccinations in non-EU countries.

“Certifications issued in European Union member states are recognised as equivalent, as are those issued in a third country following a vaccination recognised in the European Union,” stated the Italian government’s April decree.

The vaccines approved by the EU regulator are currently Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, though four others are under review.

Is this the same thing as the European green pass?

Italy has chosen to start using paper certificates while it waits for an EU-wide travel pass scheme to launch.

The document is expected to go digital once Italy adopts the EU version in mid-June.

READ ALSO: How will the EU’s ‘Covid passport’ system work for tourists in Europe? 

The European green pass is expected to be accessible using a smartphone app with a QR code.

Travellers will need to show the code along with a passport or ID card when entering any EU country.

However, even after this is introduced, rules may still vary around Europe as countries may keep additional measures in place, such as a testing requirement or quarantine period.

The Italian government has not yet given any further details of the requirements for arrivals from non-EU countries to be able to use the green pass scheme.

For more information on the current restrictions and health situation in Italy please see the Health Ministry’s website (in English).

Member comments

        1. @D.B. Cooper ….and how do you propose proving who you are, without your ID doc? You could be giving anyone’s name, address & phone number.
          I read the link you sent, I am bilingual, and it states clearly that you are obliged to give your details.

          “Chi viene però fermato dalla polizia, dai carabinieri o da altra pubblica autorità è obbligato a fornire le proprie generalità.”

          This means that you HAVE TO give your details to the authority that asks for it.

          But you don’t have to believe me, I wouldn’t risk it though.
          Perhaps @Clare Speak of The Local could confirm?

          1. Yes, you are correct that you have to give your details to the authority that asks for it. The Supreme Court of Cassation has upheld multiple times that those details can be given verbally and citizens are NOT required to carry identification at all times.

            “Il rifiuto di fornire la prova delle proprie generalità non costituisce la contravvenzione in esame.”

            In practice, it is necessary to carry appropriate identification in order to drive a vehicle or check-in to a hotel, but it is not a legal requirement when walking outside.

          2. Also, is your phone number shown on your ID? I have the old paper carta d’identità and my wife has a CIE and neither of ours list a phone number.

  1. As an Italian resident in Austria, in possession of a vaccination card issued in German, will this be valid in Italy?

  2. If Americans have proof of; vaccination, Covid free test, and proof of ownership, will property owners be allowed into Italy mid May? I am very happy to quarantine at my home in Italy. Thank you.

  3. What am I missing?
    The title of the article is “how to get” but it doesn’t say where/how.

  4. I’ve been trying to get instructions on how to obtain a Green Pass if you have been vaccinated outside of the EU. In my case, in the USA. There seems to be no way to obtain the Pass for my situation. Nor does there seem to be a way to send an inquiry to the authorities.

  5. If you have had your two vaccinations here in Italy, what happens if you have to visit UK. Do you still need to quarantine there? or do they accept Italy Green Pass or certificate proof?

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For members

STRIKES

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travellers are once again set to face serious disruption as Italy will experience a new round of transport strikes in February. Here's what you can expect in the coming weeks.

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travel to, from and across Italy was disrupted by dozens of strikes in January

And, while many travellers might have hoped for a change in the trend, strikes are set to continue into February as Italian unions have already announced a further round of demonstrations affecting rail and public transport services as well as airline travel.

Here’s an overview of February’s main strike actions, including a national public transport strike on Friday, February 17th and another nationwide walkout from airport ground staff on Tuesday, February 28th.

Public transport

February 17th: Public transport staff will take part in a national 24-hour strike on Friday, February 17th. 

The strike was called in late January by Italian union USB (Unione Sindacale di Base) to protest against precarious work and “wild privatisation” attempts on the part of the Italian state.

READ ALSO: Should you travel in Italy when there’s a strike on?

There currently aren’t any details as to what percentage of workers will take part in the action. As such, the amount of disruption travellers should expect on the day cannot be estimated yet. 

Air travel

February 12th: Air traffic control staff at Perugia’s San Francesco d’Assisi airport will take part in a 24-hour strike action on Sunday, February 12th. 

It isn’t yet clear how the walkout in question will affect air travel to and from the airport on the day.

Travellers at an Italian airport

A national strike from ground service staff may cause delays and queues at many Italian airports on Tuesday, February 28th. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

February 28th: Baggage handlers and other airport ground service staff will take part in a national 24-hour strike on Tuesday, February 28th. 

It isn’t yet clear how the strike will affect air travel during the day, though a similar demonstration caused significant delays and queues at some Italian airports in late January.

ENAV air traffic operators based in Calabria are also expected to strike on February 28th, with the walkout set to start at 1pm and end at 5pm.

Rail

February 5th-6th: Calabria-based Trenitalia staff will strike from 9pm on Sunday, February 5th to 9pm the following day. 

A list of guaranteed services in the region is available here.

February 9th: Staff from Lombardy’s Trenord will take part in a 22-hour strike – from 2am to 11.50pm – on Thursday, February 9th.

Empty train platform in Codogno, Lombardy

Staff from Lombardy’s regional railway operator Trenord will strike for 22 hours on Thursday, February 9th. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

It’s currently unclear whether Trenord will operate minimum services on the day. Any information regarding the strike will be released on the following website page

February 12th-13th: Trenitalia staff in Emilia-Romagna will strike from 3.30am on Sunday, February 12th to 2.30am on Monday, February 13th.

A list of guaranteed services in the region is available here.

February 19th: Veneto-based Trenitalia staff will strike from 9am to 5pm on Sunday, February 19th. 

Guaranteed services are available here.

On the same day, there will be no service between Milan’s Milano Centrale station and Paris’s Gare de Lyon due to a strike from staff at France’s national railway company SNCF.

READ ALSO: Trains and planes: Italy’s new international travel routes in 2023

February 20th: Trenitalia personnel in Lombardy are expected to strike from 9am to 5pm on Monday, February 20th. 

Guaranteed services haven’t been made available yet. 

You can keep up to date with the latest strike news from Italy HERE.

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