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UPDATE: What is Italy’s Covid-19 digital ‘green pass’ used for and how do you get it?

UPDATE: What is Italy’s Covid-19 digital ‘green pass’ used for and how do you get it?
Photo: Denis LOVROVIC/AFP
As Italy unveils the new version of its Covid-19 health certificate, here's what you need to know about using it.

Italy has been using paper certificates as a ‘health pass’ since April, but now the health document is moving to a digital (and printable) format.

READ ALSO: Italy launches Covid-19 ‘green pass’ website

The Italian government made the details of the digital pass available online last week when its certificazione verde website went live at www.dgc.gov.it.

According to the website, the pass will be made available “automatically and free of charge” if you are in Italy and one of the following applies:

  1. You have had at least one vaccine dose or the single-dose vaccine;
  2. You have tested negative via a molecular or rapid swab test within the previous 48 hours;
  3. You have recovered from Covid-19 within the previous six months.

After vaccination or testing, a code will be sent to you automatically allowing you to access the green pass, the website says. (Find detailed instructions on accessing the pass below).

In the case of vaccination, the pass is available 15 days after your first dose.

Certificates contain a scannable QR code, and are available in Italian as well as English, French or German.

What is a ‘green pass’ needed for?

Italy’s certificazione verde or ‘green pass’ was first introduced to allow people to travel to and from ‘red zone’ areas with higher coronavirus infection rates, though this is no longer necessary as every part of the country is now classed as a low-risk ‘white’ or ‘yellow’ zone.

Now, the pass is a requirement within Italy if you want to attend larger events such as wedding receptions and concerts, after these were allowed to take place once again from June 15th.

More and more events are expected to ask for the certificate as it becomes more widely available.

Ministers are currently discussing making the health certificate a requirement for entry to nightclubs and discos once those are allowed to reopen this summer.

Regional and local authorities may also bring in their own rules on requiring the health pass, the health ministry said.

Health pass for travel

The pass will also be used for quarantine-free travel in the EU from July 1st, with certificates issued in any member state valid throughout the rest of the bloc.

That means that residents of other EU countries planning to visit Italy should claim a certificate from their own country, which will be accepted in Italy. 

The health ministry warns that people should continue to check the requirements for travel to other European countries using the Re-open EU website.

COMPARE: What are the entry rules around Europe for American travellers?

As of June 21st, Italy is also now allowing entry from the United States, Canada and Japan under the same terms as the EU’s ‘green pass’ scheme.

That means the ten-day quarantine rule will not apply to passengers who can provide proof of being fully vaccinated or having recovered from Covid-19, or can show a negative result from a test taken within the 48 hours before arrival in Italy. Find more details about the documents required here.

In Italy, children under the age of two are exempt from the health pass requirement.

Photo: Gianluca CHININEA / AFP

How do you get an Italian ‘green pass’?

If you live in Italy, you can now use an online portal to claim a digital “green pass” before the scheme launches throughout the European Union on July 1st.

Here are the steps involved in getting and using your digital certificate, according to the official website:

  • After vaccination, a negative test result, or recovery from Covid-19, your green certificate will be automatically issued in a digital and printable format via a national platform run by the health ministry.
  • Once it’s available to download or access, you’ll receive an SMS or email containing an authentication code (known as an AUTHCODE) with further instructions.
  • You’ll be able to use this code to access the certificate via either the official website, the IO public administration app or the Immuni contact-tracing app, or by accessing your electronic health records (Fascicolo Sanitario Elettronico, available on your regional health system’s website). If you’re not able to retrieve your certificate online, you can ask for help from your doctor or pharmacist.
  • To login, you’ll need a digital identity document (SPID digital ID or electronic ID card (CIE), or your tessera sanitaria (health card) if you have one, along with the authentication code sent by email or SMS.

READ ALSO: How to use your Italian ID card to access official services online

  • Your certification will include a scannable QR code, which is what you’ll need to show when asked for the pass. You can either print out the document with the QR code, or show it directly from your smartphone or tablet.
  • When the QR code is scanned, for example at an airport or when entering an event venue, this is done using the VerificationC19 app which the health ministry says “respects users’ privacy”. The person verifying your code may also ask you to show a valid identity document.

Throughout June, during what the health ministry is calling the ‘implementation phase”, it said the paper certificates issued at testing centres or by regional health authorities can still be used as a health certificate.

From July 1st, this will no longer be allowed.

What if I got vaccinated before the green pass was available?

Everyone who has already been vaccinated in Italy should have their green certificate “automatically generated in the first week of launch of the national platform”, states the website. “The availability of the certification will therefore not be immediate.”

“If you have already had the vaccine, when the certification is available you will receive an email or SMS to the number given during the vaccination.”

Going forward, it will be possible to claim your certificate 15 days after your first dose of a vaccine (including the Johnson & Johnson single shot), within 48 hours of your second dose, the same day as you receive a negative test result, or within 24 hours of being confirmed recovered from Covid-19.

Certificates will remain valid until you get your second vaccine dose (if applicable), for nine months after you are fully vaccinated, six months after you recover, or 48 hours from when you get tested.

What if I don’t have a tessera sanitaria?

While most login options require a tessera sanitaria (public healthcare card) and in some cases a SPID digital ID or electronic ID card (CIE), the new site also includes an option for people who are not enrolled in the Italian public health system and therefore do not have a health card.

People without a tessera sanitaria can request their certificate using an official ID alongside the authentication code they will receive from now on when they are vaccinated, tested or confirmed recovered in Italy. 

More information

Find further details on the official website (currently only available in Italian).

You can also call 800 91 24 91 (freephone) or email [email protected] for assistance.

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


Member comments

  1. I had my second Pfizer last Friday, 18th June. Today I received a text with the code for downloading the Green Pass, but the document only shows that I’ve had one dose (and the certificate is only valid until you’ve had the second one).

    I’m guessing the system hasn’t caught up with vaccinations given in the last few days, but does anyone know if a second code is sent out after the second dose? Thanks.

  2. As the problems with the different vaccines are still going on: scientifically, geo politically, and logistically, and there was no opportunity for me, at 80, to have a vaccine, I went to the Serenissima Republica di San Marino.
    Within two days I had an appointment for the first vaccine and had the second one 4 weeks later.
    Albeit with staying two times for 3 nights each and €50,00 for two vaccines.
    Well organised and professional, appointment on the minute! So after just 4 weeks, at last’peace of mind’.
    A very good experience, but with a price tag.
    The Sputnik vaccine is scientifically proven by now, to a high degree, by the Lancet and other papers and scientists (research now also in Rome and Bologna,) The roll out by the European Medical Association has started and is going on.
    I parafrase scientifical articles writing about 98% protection.
    Besides, The Serenissima Rebublica San Marino is worth visiting, one of the oldest Republics in the world, it is not in the EU nor in Schengen and has an incredible history, very interesting and a “mozzafiato view’

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