FOR MEMBERS

Reader question: Can I use a foreign vaccination certificate to access Italy’s ‘green pass’?

Reader question: Can I use a foreign vaccination certificate to access Italy's 'green pass'?
Photo: Koen van Weel / ANP / AFP
With Italy now rolling out its health pass, those who get vaccinated here will be able to download a digital health certificate - but what if you were vaccinated in another country?

Question: I’m an American and I’m not registered with the Italian national health service. Can I use my CDC vaccination card to obtain the Italian ‘green pass’ for travel?

Italy has now started issuing its certificato verde or ‘green pass’ – which will be valid for travel all over the European Union from July 1st.

The health passport is also required to attend larger events in Italy like wedding receptions, now that these are allowed to go ahead again.

EXPLAINED: What is Italy’s digital ‘green pass’ used for and how do you get it?

After using paper certificates since May, Italy is now making the pass available in digital (and printable) form, both online and via the government’s Immuni contact tracing app as well as its IO admin app.

You’re automatically entitled to the ‘green pass’ document if you have either been vaccinated, have recently tested negative, or can prove you’ve recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months.

But what happens if you were vaccinated outside Italy and therefore don’t have an Italian certificate to download?

For now, this will depend on where you were vaccinated.

Photo: Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

EU

If you were vaccinated in an EU/Schengen zone country, things should be relatively straightforward.

Every EU country is rolling out its own version of the ‘digital green pass’, and these can all be used to produce a QR code that can be scanned at any border within the Bloc.

Each country’s app should accept either a vaccination certificate or a recent negative test, or proof of having recently recovered from Covid-19.

If you were vaccinated in Italy, you should be automatically sent a code which you can use to access your certificato verde – whether or not you are enrolled in the national health service and have a tessera sanitaria (health card).

While Italy has not made provisions for people to register on the Italian app or website using non-Italian certificates, if you’re in the EU you can register using the equivalent version of the app in your country. The pass you get will be recognised when travelling to Italy and in all other EU member states.

The EU-wide travel pass scheme will be in operation from July 1st.

Outside the EU

Europe has not officially recognised health certificates from non-EU countries as equivalent under its ‘green pass’ scheme. However individual member states can choose to do so.

As of June 21st, Italy is now allowing fully-vaccinated travellers from certain countries with high vaccination rates to skip quarantine on arrival.

READ ALSO: What kind of coronavirus test do I need to take for travel to Italy?

Italy has so far allowed 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 from those countries 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.

What about other countries?

It’s not known yet when Italy may reach agreements with other individual non-EU countries.

This will depend on each country’s vaccination and infection rates, as well as logistical aspects.

The first issue is that the EU pass will only accept vaccine certificates from people who have received a dose of a vaccine licensed for use within the EU. At present these are Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech (also called Comirnaty), AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen).

The second is that the EU and the non-EU country need to agree to recognise each other’s vaccination/test certificates.

Then there’s also the technical aspect – making sure all certificates can be scanned and the various apps ‘talk’ to each other correctly.

For the latest on travel rules in and out of Italy, see The Local’s travel section.


Member comments

  1. I would like to know if my friends in Belarus who have both had Covid and recovered from it would be able to travel to Italy this Summer. They tell can’t get a vaccine other than Sputnik and that Belarussian doctors wont vaccinate them till 3 months after recovery. Would a certificate showing antibodies after recovery suffice? All help greatly appreciated.

      1. Thank you. I thought that was probably the case but I am exploring all avenues. It seems it is much easier to get into Italy illegally than via the correct methods!

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