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

(Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP)
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.

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).

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