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HEALTH

EXPLAINED: How to get Italy’s Covid-19 passport without a tessera sanitaria

People who aren't enrolled in Italy's national health service can still claim a Covid-19 "green pass", even without the health card that identifies them in the public system. Here are the steps to take.

EXPLAINED: How to get Italy's Covid-19 passport without a tessera sanitaria
Not having an Italian health card shouldn't stop you getting a Covid certifcate. Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP

As The Local has reported, getting vaccinated in Italy without a tessera sanitaria (health card) has proved a considerable challenge for many foreign residents. 

Now people who managed to pass that hurdle are worried they face another due to not having the card: obtaining the digital Covid certificate that will allow them to travel quarantine-free throughout the EU, as well as visiting museums, attending concerts and eating indoors at restaurants in Italy. 

EXPLAINED: When, where and why will you need a Covid health passport in Italy?

The good news is that the Italian government has provided options for people without a health card, at least when it comes to downloading your certificate.

While people who are part of the public health service have several ways to claim their pass, including asking their doctor to access it for them, people outside the system will need to go through the online platform run by the Italian health ministry.

Photo by Pascal POCHARD-CASABIANCA / AFP

Note that the Italian version of the health pass is only available to people who were vaccinated, tested or recovered from Covid-19 in Italy.

Certificates from any other country in the EU or Schengen Zone, as well as from these five countries outside the bloc, will also be accepted in Italy.

If you are eligible under Italy’s system but don’t have an Italian health card, here’s a guide to getting your certificazione verde without it.

How to get your certificate without a health card if you were vaccinated in Italy

If you’ve had one or both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in Italy, you have four ways to get your certificate.

  • Using your codice fiscale

From July 30th, the Italian government has simplified the procedure for downloading a Covid-19 vaccination certificate from its official Digital Green Card website without a tessera sanitaria.

READ ALSO: How Italy just made it easier to download a Covid-19 health pass

People who are not enrolled in the public health system can now request their pass using nothing more than their codice fiscale and the date they got their shot: go to this page and select the option Utente non iscritto al SSN vaccinato in Italia (‘User not enrolled in the National Health Service vaccinated in Italy’). 

Entering your details will bring up your digital vaccination certificate, which you can either download as a printable PDF or save as a QR code directly to your phone.

  • With a SPID or ID card

Alternatively, you can login to the Digital Green Card website using either a verified digital ID known as a SPID or your electronic ID card (CIE), both of which are available to all registered residents of Italy regardless of whether they’re part of the national health system.

To get a SPID, you’ll need to apply via an authorised provider who will verify your identity before issuing your credentials (beware that some may ask you to show a tessera sanitaria as proof of your codice fiscale, or tax code: ask customer services if they will accept another official document instead). Find a guide here.

Alternatively, if you have a microchipped Italian ID card you can download an authentication app to your smartphone and use it to login in securely to government websites. Find instructions here.

Use either method to access the green card website here.

  • Via the IO app

You can also use your SPID or ID card to log into IO, the Italian government’s public administration app

Once you’ve downloaded the app to your smartphone and used your official credentials to log in, your vaccination QR code will appear there automatically. You can show it directly in the app or save it as an image to your phone.

  • With an authorisation code

Once the green pass website went live in mid-June, Italy said it would automatically send an authorisation code to everyone who had been vaccinated as soon as their certificate was available. 

You should receive your so-called AUTHCODE to the mobile phone number or email address you gave the vaccination centre when you got your jab. 

Enter the code on the government’s website here, selecting the option Utente senza tessera sanitaria (‘User without a health card’), and it will load your certificate without the need for any other details.

If you were vaccinated before Italy launched its digital certificate in June, you were supposed to receive your AUTHCODE by June 28th – though by early August many people continued to report that they had not.

If that’s the case for you, either try one of the alternatives above, or ask for assistance by calling the official helplines on 1500 or 800 91 24 91. 

You can also email for assistance at [email protected] or [email protected].

How to get your certificate without a health card if you get tested for Covid-19 in Italy

Anyone who gets a Covid test in Italy from now on should be issued with a unique code depending on the type of swab. 

  • Molecular test: CUN (codice univoco nazionale, ‘unique national code’)
  • Rapid antigen test: NRFE (numero di referto elettronico, ‘electronic reference number’) 

Ask for the code when you get your test, or have it sent to you by SMS or email. 

Go to the government’s website here and select the option Utente senza tessera sanitaria (‘User without a health card’). You will be prompted to enter the type and number of the ID you showed when you got your test, e.g. passport or ID card, as well as the type of code you have.

Click Ricupera certificazione (‘Get certificate’) and you should be able to download your digital test result. It remains valid for 48 hours after your swab.

EXPLAINED: How tourists and visitors can get a coronavirus test in Italy

Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP

How to get your certificate without a health card if you recovered from Covid-19 in Italy

People who are certified to have recovered from Covid-19 in Italy will receive an identifying code called an NUCG (numero univoco certificato guarigione, ‘unique recovery certificate number’). 

Go to the government’s website here and select the option Utente senza tessera sanitaria (‘User without a health card’). You will be prompted to enter the type and number of the ID you showed when you were treated and confirmed healthy, e.g. passport or ID card, as well as the type of code you have.

Click Ricupera certificazione (‘Get certificate’) and you should be able to download your digital test result. It is valid for six months after your official recovery date, provided you don’t contract coronavirus again during this period.

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

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. Thank you for the useful information! I cannot wait to read how people coming from US can get this green pass to travel in Italy/Europe!

  2. How do legal residents in Italy get this green card if they were vaccinated elsewhere. My husband and I were vaccinated and have the CDC (US) document.

  3. Hi, my partner had the j&j vaccine, he doesn’t have a tessera sanitaria so rolled up at the vaccine centre and they were happy to vaccinate him. He did not receive a code therefore can’t access a green pass using any of the options mentioned in ‘the locals’ articles. Luckily I was able to book a test and access my green pass using my tessera sanitaria even though it is out of date. Would be grateful for any advise, many thanks Louise Morgan

  4. I have been attempting using this information and link for two weeks and it’s not working for me- it tells me that “some data may not be available”:

    People who are not enrolled in the public health system can now request their pass using nothing more than their codice fiscale and the date they got their shot: go to this page and select the option Utente non iscritto al SSN vaccinato in Italia (‘User not enrolled in the National Health Service vaccinated in Italy’).

    Are they still uploading information/data from the various vaccination locations? My 2nd jab was on July 14th at Nelson Mandela.

    A bit frustrated…

  5. Hi, how do I access the green pass if I can only show my negative test? And as a tourist from outside the EU, I do not have a codice fiscale, so how do I get a green pass by showing negative tests?

    I am not from the EU or any of the 5 countries whose vaccine cards are accepted.

    Thank you

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TRAVEL NEWS

REVEALED: Countries fear non-EU travellers face delays under new EES border checks

A number of countries in Europe's Schengen area admit they fear delays and insufficient time to test the process ahead of new, more rigorous EU border checks that will be introduced next year, a new document reveals.

REVEALED: Countries fear non-EU travellers face delays under new EES border checks

Schengen countries are tightening up security at the external borders with the introduction of a new digital system (EES) to record the entry and exit of non-EU citizens in May 2023.

The EES will enable the automatic scanning of passports replacing manual stamping by border guards. It will register the person’s name, type of the travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and facial images) and the date and place of entry and exit. The data will be kept in a centralised database on a rolling three-year basis that is re-set at each entry. 

What the EES is intended to do is increase border security, including the enforcement of the 90-day short-stay limit for tourists and visitors.

EU citizens and third-country nationals who reside in a country of the Schengen area will not be subject to such checks as long as they can prove residency in an EU country however they will still be caught up in any delays at passport control if the new system as many fear, causes longer processing times.

READ ALSO: Foreigners living in EU not covered by new EES border checks

But given its scale, the entry into operation of the system has been raising concerns on many fronts, including the readiness of the physical and digital infrastructure, and the time required for border checks, which could subsequently cause massive queues at borders.

A document on the state of preparations was distributed last week by the secretariat of the EU Council (the EU institution representing member states) and published by Statewatch, a non-profit organisation that monitors civil liberties.

The paper contains the responses from 21 countries to a questionnaire about potential impacts on passenger flows, the infrastructure put in place and the possibility of a gradual introduction of the new system over a number of months.

This is what certain the countries have responded. Responses from Denmark, Spain and Sweden do not appear in the report but the answers from other countries will be relevant for readers in those countries.

READ ALSO: What the EU’s new EES border check system means for travel

‘Double processing time’

Austria and Germany are the most vocal in warning that passport processing times will increase when the EES will become operational.

“The additional tasks resulting from the EES regulation will lead to a sharp increase in process times”, which are expected to “double compared to the current situation,” Austrian authorities say. “This will also affect the waiting times at border crossing points (in Austria, the six international airports),” the document continues.

“Furthermore, border control will become more complicated since in addition to the distinction between visa-exempt and visa-required persons, we will also have to differentiate between EES-required and EES-exempt TCN [third country nationals], as well as between registered and unregistered TCN in EES,” Austrian officials note.

Based on an analysis of passenger traffic carried out with the aviation industry, German authorities estimate that checking times will “increase significantly”.

France expects to be ready for the introduction of the EES “in terms of passenger routes, training and national systems,” but admits that “fluidity remains a concern” and “discussions are continuing… to make progress on this point”.

Italy is also “adapting the border operational processes… in order to contain the increased process time and ensure both safety and security”.

“Despite many arguments for the introduction of automated border control systems based on the need for efficiency, the document makes clear that the EES will substantially increase border crossing times,” Statewatch argues.

‘Stable service unlikely by May 2023’

The border infrastructure is also being adapted for collecting and recording the data, with several countries planning for automated checks. So what will change in practice?

France will set up self-service kiosks in airports, where third-country nationals can pre-register their biometric data and personal information before being directed to the booth for verification with the border guard. The same approach will be adopted for visitors arriving by bus, while tablet devices such as iPads will be used for the registration of car passengers at land and sea borders.

Germany also plans to install self-service kiosks at the airports to “pre-capture” biometric data before border checks. But given the little time for testing the full process, German authorities say “a stable working EES system seems to be unlikely in May 2023.”

Austria intends to install self-service kiosks at the airports of Vienna and Salzburg “in the course of 2023”. Later these will be linked to existing e-gates enabling a “fully automated border crossing”. Austrian authorities also explain that airport operators are seeking to provide more space for kiosks and queues, but works will not be completed before the system is operational.

Italy is increasing the “equipment of automated gates in all the main  airport” and plans to install, at least in the first EES phase, about 600 self-service kiosks at the airports of Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa, Venice and in those with “significant volumes of extra-Schengen traffic,” such as Bergamo, Naples, Bologna and Turin.

Switzerland, which is not an EU member but is part of the Schengen area, is also installing self-service kiosks to facilitate the collection of data. Norway, instead, will have “automated camera solutions operated by the border guards”, but will consider self-service options only after the EES is in operation.

Gradual introduction?

One of the possibilities still in consideration is the gradual introduction of the new system. The European Commission has proposed a ‘progressive approach’ that would allow the creation of “incomplete” passenger files for 9 months following the EES entry into operation, and continuing passport stamping for 3 months.

According to the responses, Italy is the only country favourable to this option. For Austria and France this “could result in more confusion for border guards and travellers”. French officials also argue that a lack of biometric data will “present a risk for the security of the Schengen area”.

France suggested to mitigate with “flexibility” the EES impacts in the first months of its entry into service. In particular, France calls for the possibility to not create EES files for third-country nationals who entered the Schengen area before the system becomes operational, leaving this task to when they return later.

This would “significantly ease the pressure” on border guards “during the first three months after entry into service,” French authorities said.

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