Italy plans free Covid-19 tests for family ‘green pass’

Families in Italy with children under 12 could access two free Covid-19 tests per week to get the so-called 'green pass' for travel under new proposals, said Italy's deputy health minister on Sunday.

Italy plans free Covid-19 tests for family 'green pass'
(Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

The ‘green pass’ or certificato verde for travel and large events currently exists in paper format and is expected to be available in digital format by the end of June.

But as the document is actually a regular vaccination certificate for now, it means that children under 12 can’t access the health certificate.

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

To make upcoming travel plans a possibility for families, Italy could offer free testing to families to allow them to get the paperwork they need to travel, Deputy Health Minister Pierpaolo Sileri said on Rai 1’s TV show ‘Domenica In‘.

“In families that have children under 12 who cannot have the vaccine, it is clear that the children must take the swab test, which has a cost and it is right that this should be paid for by the state”, stated Sileri.

Tourists stroll along the basin in Venice. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP)

“It is obvious that, as the green pass comes into effect more, it is necessary to move in this direction in order to guarantee a number of buffers to families so that they can travel… I think it is necessary to guarantee at least two free swabs a week to families,” he added.

So far, Italy’s local health authorities have been given the green light to open coronavirus vaccination appointments to everyone over 12 years old, which began on Thursday.

As Italy eases its restrictions and as more regions turn into the lowest-risk ‘white zone‘, a green pass isn’t needed for travel between regions, but it will be needed for international travel.


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.

Moving from the paper format “will soon become a computerised reality thanks to an application,” stated Sileri.

This is expected by the end of June but if family members over 12 are getting vaccinated 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.

The exact procedure varies depending on where you get your shots and you can find out how you can get hold of your vaccination certificate here.

If you are travelling internationally, Italy’s testing and quarantine rules still currently apply even if you’re fully vaccinated.

Italy’s ‘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.


Italy has continued to use paper certificates while it waits for the EU-wide travel pass scheme to launch.

When the digital version is rolled out, it should be possible to show 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, according to plans announced by Italy’s tech bosses.

“If we have a green pass, we have to believe in it. It must give us access to greater freedom,” stated Sileri.

“We should get to a point as soon as possible that you can even dance in a disco if you have a green pass. I don’t see how much of a risk there is if you dance with all the people who are vaccinated, tested or recovered. Let’s use this green pass,” he added.

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

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US tourist fined €500 for driving on Florence’s Ponte Vecchio bridge

Italian police fined a Californian man after he drove a rented Fiat Panda across Florence’s iconic - and pedestrianised - Ponte Vecchio on Thursday.

US tourist fined €500 for driving on Florence’s Ponte Vecchio bridge

The 34-year-old man drove onto the bridge in the early afternoon of Thursday, January 26th, but was quickly stopped by police.

He reportedly told officers that he was looking for parking and wasn’t aware he was on the Ponte Vecchio, one of Florence’s most recognisable landmarks.

Completed in 1345, the bridge today is famously a narrow, cobbled walkway lined with small shops selling jewellery and souvenirs.

READ ALSO: US tourist charged with public indecency after posing naked at Amalfi Cathedral

The visitor, from California, had been planning on touring Florence by car (a rented Fiat Panda, to be exact). 

But whether he was trying to put one over local police or he just wasn’t aware of local traffic rules, his early-afternoon ride cost him dearly as he later received a total 500-euro fine for entering a pedestrian-only area and driving without an international driving permit. 

READ ALSO: ‘Americans can pay’: Italian minister says famous sites should hike entry fees

Florence recently announced a restoration project worth €2 million for the bridge – which was the only one in the city left standing after World War II.

Thursday’s incident was not the first time a tourist was caught driving across the Ponte Vecchio. 

In 2019, a 79-year-old German tourist drove onto the bridge in a rented Lamborghini sports car. After being stopped by local police, the man reportedly told officers he was “lost”.