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

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Reader question: Can I access Italy's Covid 'green pass' if I was vaccinated in the US?
A policewoman at the Bregana border crossing between Croatia and Slovenia scans QR code on a EU's digital Covid passport on June 2, 2021. - A passenger with a digital Covid passport proves that he received a vaccine against coronavirus (Covid-19). (Photo by Denis LOVROVIC / AFP)

As Italy rolls out its version of the EU digital health certificate, several readers who live in Italy but were vaccinated elsewhere have been in touch to ask how they can access it.


Question: I’m an American citizen living in Italy part-time and I was fully vaccinated in the US. How do I get an Italian ‘green pass’?

There has been some confusion about the rules on getting Italy’s certificazione verde or ‘green pass’ recently after the country began allowing entry from the United States, Canada and Japan under the same terms as the European Union’s digital Covid-19 health certificate scheme.

While this means people can use health documents issued in those countries to enter Italy, the ‘green pass’ situation was less clear for people from those countries who are living in Italy.

People who live full or part-time in Italy but were vaccinated in their home countries are in fact now finding themselves unable to access Italy’s health certificate.

At the moment, the Italian version of the ‘green pass’ document is only being issued to people who were vaccinated, tested or recovered from Covid-19 in Italy

If you were vaccinated in another country, at the moment you would instead need to obtain a health certificate from that country.

Photo: Pau BARRENA / AFP


While you can't get a 'green pass' however, you should be able to use your US-issued medical documentation in its place.

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

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

However these documents may not be valid for travel to other European countries, as each member state has its own differing requirements.

Under the EU-wide health certificate scheme, from July 1st people should be able to show a scannable, digital version of the pass containing a QR code (whether on your smartphone screen or printed out).

All EU member states have now started issuing such digital passes


A French version of the European digital certiciate. Photo: Olivier MORIN/AFP


The EU, or individual European countries, may also decide to recognise compatible digital passes issued in non-EU countries.

For example, the EU is currently considering allowing travellers from the UK to show proof of full vaccination using a digital pass obtained via the British NHS (National Health Service) app.

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

But as the US does not have such a system in place nationwide at the moment, there is currently no clear way for people who were vaccinated in the US to access a digital document containing a QR code. 

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


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
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Anonymous 2021/08/10 13:59
Hello…I am both Italian and American citizen. I got vaccinated in the USA? Can I get the green pass as am Italian citizen? Is this clear to anyone? There are many Italians vaccinated abroad. Thank you for anyone who has a clear answer? Jennifer
Anonymous 2021/07/24 13:40
For those vaccinated outside Italy, here's how to avail yourself to the Italian Green Pass:
Anonymous 2021/07/22 15:41
I've got a digital vaccine certificate from New York state, as well as a CDC card. Even though it's a state and not a national program, would that still suffice under the 'green pass'?
Anonymous 2021/07/07 20:45
What about an Italian citizen traveling to the USA? Why does Italian citizen have to quarantine for 14 days outside USA even with vaccines n negative COVID-19 test?
  • Anonymous 2021/07/08 13:51
    Because Biden is an idiot.
Anonymous 2021/07/07 19:18
If it's any consolation, we had no issues with presenting our US-issued CDC vaccination cards around Italy last week. We used them to enter the country via the EU dPLF, to obtain our antigen test from a lab in Montefiascone and even to enter the Stadio Olimpico for the England-Ukraine match on July 3.
Anonymous 2021/07/06 16:49
This is all way to damn complicated. Figure it out already people. I thought these bureaucrats were supposed to be the smart ones.
  • Anonymous 2021/07/08 08:25
    We as UK residents in Italy would like the green pass but the UK NHS Vaccine Certificates do not upload for the Italian Green Pass.

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