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‘Health pass’: What documents do Americans need for travel to Italy?

Since people from the US have been allowed to travel to Italy quarantine-free with a health certificate, here's a look at exactly what paperwork is now required.

'Health pass': What documents do Americans need for travel to Italy?
(Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP)

Italy has reopened travel to people to from the United States under the same terms as the EU’s ‘green pass’ scheme.

This means US travellers can now enter the country for any reason without needing to quarantine – as long as they can show a ‘health certificate’.

To avoid having to undergo a ten-day quarantine on arrival in Italy, passengers must show proof of being fully vaccinated, having recovered from Covid-19, or testing negative within the 48 hours before arrival in Italy.

EXPLAINED: How has Italy changed its rules on travel from the US and Canada?

These are the rules under the new Europe-wide ‘health pass’ scheme, set up to facilitate quarantine-free travel between European Union member states, which Italy extended this to US arrivals on June 21st.

As Italy released its own version of the EU digital document, the government has chosen to also recognise equivalent health documents from some non-EU countries with high rates of vaccination – and to begin allowing those travellers to enter Italy.

Here’s a look at exactly which documents you’ll need to show when travelling to Italy from the US.

Do I need to obtain an Italian or EU ‘green pass’?

No. The Italian ‘green pass’ document is only being issued to people in Italy.

US travellers instead can use equivalent documents issued in the US, such as their CDC vaccination card, and these will be accepted by Italian authorities.

“Those vaccinated in the USA can prove [their vaccination status] via the ‘white card’ bearing a CDC logo,” states the Italian Embassy in Washington.

You can also use a negative test result certificate, or a medical certificate which proves you have recently had and recovered from Covid-19.

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

A passenger walks past a picture of a villa in Tuscany at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Virginia. Photo: Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP

What about the expanded ‘green pass’ once I’m in Italy?

From August 6th, Italy’s extended health pass will become mandatory to visit most venues and cultural sites across the country.

The new rules, unveiled on July 22nd, mean that you’re likely to need the certificate during your stay in Italy as the full list includes museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas, sports stadiums, theme parks, indoor swimming pools, spas, and indoor seating areas at bars and restaurants.

The certificazione verde (green certificate) is available to anyone who has been vaccinated in Italy, including those who have only had the first of two doses.

If you’re coming from the US, however, the documentation you used to enter Italy isn’t currently confirmed to be accepted at venues within Italy once the green pass is more widely required.

Travellers who were vaccinated outside the EU do have one clear way to access the Italian health pass: by getting a coronavirus test in Italy, although this is only valid for 48 hours. Find out how to get tested in Italy here, and learn how to download the green pass using your test number here.

There are rumours in the Italian media that a recognition scheme is being discussed, but nothing has been confirmed so far.

Reader question: Can I access Italy’s Covid ‘green pass’ if I was vaccinated in the US?

Do I need to take a coronavirus test to enter Italy?

No. You can use a negative test result certificate for travel, but you don’t need one in addition to a certificate of vaccination or recovery.

The Italian government’s updated rules state that people can now enter Italy quarantine-free from the US by presenting one of the following health documents:

  1. Certificate of vaccination – such as a US CDC-issued vaccination card or EU green certificate. Keep in mind you must be fully vaccinated, meaning you have had your last vaccination 14 days before departure.
  2. OR
    A negative antigen, PCR, or molecular test result from a test taken within 48 hours of arrival in Italy.
  3. OR
    A certificate of Recovery from Covid dated no more than six months before arrival to Italy.

Anyone who cannot show the requested documents may be required to undergo a ten-day quarantine period on arrival, the Italian Foreign Ministry states.

For children: “minors accompanied by a parent/caregiver with one of the above certifications must always take the pre-departure Covid test if they are 6 years old and over; minors under 6 years old are, in any case, exempt from the pre-departure Covid test,” explains the Italian Embassy.

EXPLAINED: What are the Covid-19 testing rules for travelling between the US and Italy?

Are there any other travel requirements?

Before your trip, you should also fill out a European Digital Passenger Locator Form (dPLF), giving details of where you’re departing from and where you’ll be staying. The form is available online here

You should also notify the prevention department of the local health authority in the part of Italy you’ll be staying in within 48 hours of your arrival. Depending on where you’re going, this may involve filling out an online form, sending an email or calling a regional helpline. Find contact details here.

Please note that The Local is unable to advise on individual cases.

For further details of the requirements, see the Italian Foreign Ministry’s website (in English), or contact your airline or the Italian embassy in your country.

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. From what I’ve read, and would like confirmation if you have it, is that travel through/a layover in the UK will result in need for quarantine. We have a British Airways flight to Rome in September that has a stopover/plane change at Heathrow. Will that result in a need for quarantine? We are fully vaccinated. Any insight?

    1. Hi,

      As far as we know, anyone who has been in the UK within the previous 14 days (including in transit) would need to quarantine in Italy, and there are no exceptions at the moment if you’ve been vaccinated.

      Here are the full details: https://www.thelocal.it/20210623/italy-new-quarantine-rules-uk-travel/

      We’d advise also checking the requirements with your airline and the ASL (local health authority) in the region of Italy you’ll be staying in.

      Thanks for reading.

      – Clare

  2. are any other documents needed besides the cdc immunization card. For example does one need to have a Digital Passenger Locator Form? What is the appropriate web site to find the form for completion.

    1. Hi David, if you take another look at the article you’ll see the information about the European Digital Passenger Locator Form, including the link.

      Thanks for reading,

      – Clare

  3. Is there a time for expiration of completed vaccine status? If someone completed their two vaccines in January (including the two week post vaccine waiting period, will the CDC card expire in July (6 months after the 2 doses plus 2 week wait)?

  4. Hi,
    Do you need your original CDC card showing vaccination status or would a photocopy suffice? I can’t seem to find that info anywhere — and I am so afraid of losing that valuable card on our travels. Thanks for any answers,
    Linda

  5. I was fully vaccinated in the US with a CDC card though live in Panama. I am a US citizen. Will I be able to travel without quarantine. Everything I read does not make the distinction clear.

  6. Weird that Italy will accept the CDC card but the US itself won’t when you want to go back to the states. Come on Biden. Figure it out already.

  7. Hi Clare
    Canada does not have a national immunization record/passport yet – each province has issued its own official vaccine record with the date and type of vaccine and where issued. Do you have any info on Italy’s acceptance of Canadian vaccine records? What information does Italy require on the vaccine record? It is somewhat confusing when Italy’s government websites refer to what is required as a “green” pass. Thank you.

  8. I know several people who want to go to Italy but cannot find information on the actual process for showing the CDC vaccination card to someone to get into the country. Who has to review it? The airline? Italian authorities at the Italian airport? Various Italian government sites indicate that American traveler need the “green pass”, but there is no information on how an American can get that. Thanks.

  9. Is there any information on what is required if you first arrive in France and then travel to Italy? Thanks

  10. I have similar question to kclarke. Are the rules regarding entry to Italy based of your nationality only, or on which country you’re arriving from. Example. I’m a us citizen traveling first to Germany then, two weeks later, flying from Germany to Italy. Grazie.

  11. I’ll be traveling to France, where they require you to go to a pharmacy and pay 36 euros to convert your US vaccine card (CDC vaccine card) to a vaccine equivalency pass. When I go to Italy after France is this vaccine equivalency pass scannable with the QR readers like any other European green pass? It would be nice to not have to have repeated discussions with people that my CDC card is supposed to be the same as a green pass.

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COVID-19

Covid-19: Are Italian live events at risk of being postponed?

As the infection rate rises sharply across the country, Italian virologists are calling for concerts and festivals to be rescheduled.

Covid-19: Are Italian live events at risk of being postponed?

Italy has seen a large increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in recent days, so much so that a number of virologists across the country are now urging the government to postpone major live events in a bid to curb infections. 

According to a new report by Italy’s independent health watchdog, the Gimbe Foundation, 595,349 new cases were recorded in the week from June 29th to July 5th; a worrying 55 percent increase on the previous week. 

In the same time span, the country also registered a 32.8 percent rise in the number of hospitalised patients, which went from 6,035 to 8,003.  

The latest Covid wave, which is being driven by the highly contagious Omicron 5 variant, is a “real cause for concern”, especially in terms of a “potential patient overload”, said Nino Cartabellotta, president of the Gimbe Foundation. 

As Italian cities prepare to host a packed calendar of concerts and festivals this summer, health experts are questioning whether such events should actually take place given the high risk of transmission associated with mass gatherings.

READ ALSO: What tourists in Italy need to know if they get Covid-19

“Rescheduling these types of events would be the best thing to do right now,” said Massimo Ciccozzi, Director of Epidemiology at Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome. 

The summer wave is expected to peak in mid-July but, Ciccozzi warns, the upcoming live events might “delay [the peak] until the end of July or even beyond” and extend the infection curve.

Antonello Maruotti, Professor of Statistics at LUMSA University of Rome, recently shared Ciccozzi’s concerns, saying that live events as big as Maneskin’s scheduled Rome concert are “definitely not a good idea”. 

The Italian rock band are slated to perform at the Circus Maximus on Saturday, July 9th but the expected turnout – over 70,000 fans are set to attend the event – has raised objections from an array of Italian doctors, with some warning that the concert might cause as many as 20,000 new cases.

If it were to materialise, the prospected scenario would significantly aggravate Lazio’s present medical predicament as there are currently over 186,000 Covid cases in the region (nearly 800 patients are receiving treatment in local hospitals). 

Italian rock band Maneskin performing in Turin

Italian rock band Maneskin are expected to perform at the Circus Maximus in Rome on Saturday, July 9th. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

But, despite pleas to postpone the event, it is likely that Maneskin’s concert will take place as scheduled.

Alessandro Onorato, Rome’s Tourism Councillor, said that rescheduling is “out of question” and that “all recommendations from the local medical authorities will be adopted” with the help of the event’s organisers and staff on the ground.

At the time of writing, there is also no indication that the Italian government will consider postponing other major live events scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, though the situation is evolving rapidly and a U-turn on previous dispositions can’t be ruled out.

READ ALSO: At a glance: What are the Covid-19 rules in Italy now?

On this note, it is worth mentioning that Italy has now scrapped all of its former Covid measures except the requirement to wear FFP2 face masks on public transport (though not on planes) and in healthcare settings.

The use of face coverings is, however, still recommended in all crowded areas, including outdoors – exactly the point that leading Italian doctors are stressing in the hope that live events will not lead to large-scale infection.

Antonio Magi, President of Rome’s OMCEO (College of Doctors, Surgeons and Dentists), said: “Our advice is to wear FFP2 masks […] in high-risk situations.”

“I hope that young people will heed our recommendations and think about the health risks that their parents or grandparents might be exposed to after the event [they attend].”

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