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TRAVEL NEWS

When will Italy recognise UK vaccinations via the NHS app?

After Italy announced it will extend its 'green pass' to make the certificate mandatory to visit museums, attend concerts or dine at a restaurant indoors, many readers vaccinated in the UK have contacted The Local to ask when the NHS app will be recognised in Italy. Here's what we know so far.

When will Italy recognise UK vaccinations via the NHS app?
(Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

**Note: This article is no longer being updated. Please see the latest news here.**

Italy’s Covid health pass will cover most venues and cultural sites in the country when the new rules come into effect on August 6th.

From that date, you’ll need to show a ‘green pass‘ to access many places that typically attract tourists, such as museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas, sports stadiums, theme parks, indoor swimming pools, spas, and indoor seating areas at bars and restaurants.

READ ALSO: Italy makes Covid ‘green pass’ mandatory for restaurants, gyms, cinemas and more 

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

People who have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months or who tested negative for the coronavirus within the previous 48 hours can also claim it.

So if you were vaccinated in the UK, Italy’s Covid health pass currently doesn’t recognise your shots.

(Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP)

When will this change?

Since France begun to independently recognise proof of vaccination in the UK, people wanting to travel to Italy for tourism, to make long-postponed trips to family or to attend weddings have been asking when Italy will follow suit.

France is allowing UK visitors who were vaccinated to upload their NHS certificates to the French health pass app, TousAntiCovid.

This recognition isn’t mutual, but the UK government is shortly expected to make an announcement on EU-administered vaccinations being accepted for entry into the UK.

Whether or not more countries might start recognising each others’ health passports may depend on whether apps are compatible with each other, as much as on international agreements.

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

If you were vaccinated somewhere else than the UK, click here to see how it affects you when visiting Italy.

Although Italy and the UK have not yet made an announcement on when the NHS Covid pass will be recognised in Italy, one is due shortly.

The director of prevention at the Ministry of Health, Giovanni Rezza, told reporters at a press conference, “There is no reason for this situation to persist.”

Being unable to access the ‘green pass’ if you were vaccinated in the UK “is being resolved”, he confirmed.

Referring to Italians living in the UK who want to return home for summer visits, the Italian Embassy in London shared Rezza’s announcement on social media.

“‘The problem of the green pass for Italians who have had a vaccination cycle in Great Britain, where two vaccines were given like we have done [in Italy], is being resolved’. This was said by Giovanni Rezza, director of prevention at the Ministry of Health,” the tweet read.

Rezza pointed out that vaccines administered in the UK are recognised by the European Medicines Agency and so should be accepted in Italy.

Travellers continue to wait for a confirmed date on when this will come into force, following Rezza’s comments last week that a decision would arrive within a day or two.

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

What can I do until then?

If you’re travelling to Italy from the UK, you’ll need to follow the current travel restrictions, which include a 5-day quarantine and double-testing requirements.

However, these are due to expire at the end of the month and are presently under review.

Until then, once you’re in Italy and have completed quarantine, there’s one sure way to obtain Italy’s ‘green pass’ – by getting a coronavirus test in Italy. Find out how to get tested in Italy here, and learn how to download the green pass using your test number here.

What about returning to the UK?

Anyone vaccinated under the NHS can currently return home to the UK after a trip abroad without facing a quarantine period – though people who were vaccinated in Italy would still face quarantine in the UK under current ‘amber’ list rules.

An announcement from the UK government is expected on Wednesday, which may drop quarantine for vaccinated EU arrivals as well, however.

The Local will continue to follow the travel restrictions closely. Please check our homepage or travel news section for the most recent reports on any changes to the rules.

For more information about the current coronavirus-related restrictions on travel to Italy please see the Foreign Ministry’s website (in English).

Member comments

  1. We have the Euro Pass, must we now get an Italian Green Pass too. Also, we don’t use Twitter so no scanning of the green pass. Can we scan the Euro pass to get the app?

    1. If you have a EU Green Pass, that is all you need. Italy’s C19 app will authenticate and pass any issued Green Pass from anywhere in the EU.

      France’s TousantiCovid app allows non French Covid passes to be added, for some countries… I believe the NHS is one of them. Once in the French app, it will be recognized by the Italian authenticator app.

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COVID-19 RULES

Reader question: What are Italy’s Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Italy's quarantine rules have changed so many times over the past couple of years, it can be hard to keep track. Here's the latest information on when and how visitors need to self-isolate.

Reader question: What are Italy's Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Question: “One of your recent articles says you can exit quarantine by testing negative for the coronavirus. But you can also exit quarantine by obtaining a certificate of recovery from Covid-19… true?”

Unfortunately, official proof of having recovered from Covid-19 won’t get you out of the requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid while visiting Italy – though it can shorten your quarantine period.

The health ministry’s current rules state that anyone who tests positive while in Italy is required to immediately self-isolate for a minimum of seven days: that’s if the person in question is fully vaccinated and boosted, or has completed their primary vaccination cycle, or was certified as being recovered from Covid less than 120 days ago.

That period is extended to 10 days for those who aren’t fully vaccinated and boosted, or those who recovered from Covid or completed their primary vaccination cycle more than 120 days ago.

In either case, the infected person must have been symptomless for at least three days in order to exit quarantine (with the exception of symptoms relating to a lost sense of taste or smell, which can persist for some time after the infection is over).

READ ALSO: Travel in Italy and Covid rules this summer: what to expect

The patient must also test negative for the virus via either a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test on the final day of the quarantine in order to be allowed out.

Read more about getting tested while in Italy in a separate article here.

Quarantined people who keep testing positive for the virus can be kept in self-isolation for a maximum of 21 days, at which point they will be automatically released.

Italy does not currently require visitors from any country to test negative in order to enter its borders, as long as they are fully boosted or were recently vaccinated/ have recently recovered from Covid.

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

Some countries (including the US), however, do require people travelling from Italy to test negative before their departure – which means visitors at the tail end of their journey could be hit with the unpleasant surprise of finding out they need to quarantine for another week in Italy instead of heading home as planned.

It’s because of this rule that a number of The Local’s readers told us they wouldn’t be coming on holiday to Italy this summer, and intend to postpone for another year.

If you are planning on visiting Italy from a country that requires you to test negative for Covid prior to re-entry, it’s a good idea to consider what you would do and where you would go in the unlikely event you unexpectedly test positive.

Please note that The Local cannot advise on specific cases. For more information about how the rules may apply to you, see the Italian Health Ministry’s website or consult the Italian embassy in your country.

You can keep up with the latest updates via our homepage or Italian travel news section.

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