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How do you get an Italian Covid vaccination certificate?

With Covid-19 vaccinations opening the door to quarantine-free travel and more this summer, proving that you've had your shots is essential. How do people who were vaccinated in Italy get the certificate they need?

How do you get an Italian Covid vaccination certificate?
Filling in paperwork at a mobile vaccination centre in Venice. Photo by ANDREA PATTARO / AFP

With talk of a certificato verde or ‘green pass’ for travel and events in Italy, you may be expecting to receive something resembling a passport after you’ve had your jabs (and a green one at that).

But, confusingly, for the moment at least what’s being called a green pass is in fact just a regular vaccination certificate – or a negative coronavirus test result, or a statement from your doctor to say you’ve recovered from Covid-19.

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

By the end of June the Italian government plans to make those details available in a standardised digital form, with a QR code that can be scanned at border controls or the entry to large events across the whole of the European Union.

If you’re getting your jabs before then – or have already had them – you’ll need to claim a vaccination certificate that will serve as your green pass in the meantime (but remember, you can’t use it for international travel yet: you’ll still need to follow Italy’s testing and quarantine rules even if you’re fully vaccinated).

While the exact procedure varies depending on where you get vaccinated, here’s a guide to the essentials.

What does an Italian vaccination certificate look like?

Vaccinations are carried out by the 20 separate regional healthcare services that make up Italy’s national health system, so certificates look a bit different from region to region.

But the Italian government set out the essential information that a vaccination certificate needs to include to serve as a green pass in its decree of April 22nd.

It should state:

  • Your full name
  • Date of birth
  • Disease the vaccine targets – Covid-19
  • Type of vaccine
  • MAH (marketing authorisation holder) and AIC (autorizzazione all’immissione in commercio) codes – the international and Italian drug identification numbers
  • Number of doses administered and total number required
  • Date of latest dose received
  • EU Member State of vaccination – Italy
  • Certificate issuer
  • Unique certificate identifier – a way to prove the certificate is genuine

To give you an idea, here’s what vaccination certificates look like in Lazio, the region around Rome:

Where do you get your vaccination certificate?

You should be given some kind of printed record at the vaccination centre itself, even if it’s just a provisional attestazione (‘declaration’) rather than a full certificate.

The details of your vaccination will also be added to your records with the regional health service, if you are enrolled in it. You can check them online via your fascicolo sanitario elettronico, or ‘electronic health file’, which you access via the website of your region’s health service.

You will need either a SPID digital ID or an electronic Italian ID card (CIE) to log in securely. 

READ ALSO: 

It can take a few days or longer for your vaccination certificate to appear in your online records. You may be able to enable an option to get notified by email whenever a new entry is added so that you don’t have to keep checking.

Once it’s there, you can download it to print out or save a copy on your smartphone.

Some regions also provide additional ways to request a vaccination certificate, including via dedicated online portals, on regional health service apps, by emailing or calling your local health authority (Azienda Sanitaria Locale or ASL), or by asking your doctor to access your records for you. Check your region’s website for details: find links here.

If none of those are an option, you need a paper copy of your vaccination certificate from the centre where you got your injection(s). If you weren’t issued one at the time, contact the centre to request one. 

Do you have to be fully vaccinated to get your certificate?

The Italian government has decreed that you should be able to claim a green pass 15 days after getting your first dose, even if you need a second to be fully vaccinated.

That’s at odds with what the rest of the EU seems to have agreed upon for its bloc-wide health pass, which the EU Commission has suggested should be issued after vaccination is complete.

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on how the EU’s ‘Covid passports’ will work for travellers?

We’re still waiting for full details of how the EU scheme will work, so it’s not yet clear what the rules will be or whether other countries will accept Italian certificates issued after the first dose.

But within Italy at least, regional health services are supposed to issue certificates after just one shot. In some parts of the country, such as Lazio and Veneto, they may only give you a provisional paper version, while others – including Emilia-Romagna, Trentino and Tuscany – allow you to request an electronic copy shortly after your first dose.

How can you get the digital version for use all over the EU?

That’s not entirely clear yet, but according to plans announced by Italy’s tech chiefs this week, it should be possible to pull up a standardised vaccination certificate with a QR code on your smartphone using either IO – the government’s app for doing official admin – or Immuni, Italy’s contact tracing app. 

READ ALSO: 

There will also be a website where you can log in using your tessera sanitaria, the healthcare card that you get when you enrol in the public health service, and download your certificate.

People who aren’t able to log in themselves can ask their doctor or a pharmacist to do it for them. Parents will also be able to download certificates on behalf of their children.

It’s unclear what the procedure will be for people who are not enrolled in the public health system and do not have a tessera sanitaria. It may be possible to access your certificate in IO using other Italian ID, such as an electronic ID card, or you may be dependent on the paper copy you receive from your vaccination centre.

As for how Italian residents who get vaccinated in other countries will have their foreign certificates recognised in Italy, that too is not yet clear. Find out what we know so far here

Member comments

  1. I had both vacinations in Veneto region ULSS2 and after 23 days I still haven’t received the text with the code. I used my European Health Insurance Card as I don’t have a Tessera Sanitaria. Since then I moved to Switzerland for a new job. Any ideas how to follow up getting the confirmation text so I can claim my green pass? I’m still using the same prepaid Italian mobile number so that shouldn’t be the issue. Thanks for any help or advise.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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