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Italy confirms it will recognise Covid certificates from five non-EU countries

People who have proof of Covid-19 vaccination, testing or recovery from one of five countries outside the European Union will be able to use it as a health passport in Italy, the Italian government has confirmed.

Italy confirms it will recognise Covid certificates from five non-EU countries
Israel's Green Pass is one of the non-EU Covid certificates accepted in Italy. Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP

As Italy prepares to extend the public spaces where a so-called ‘green pass’ is required, the government has given its first indications about how visitors from non-EU countries can access the scheme.

Travellers from any country in the EU or Schengen Zone can already use their national certificates in Italy as they would at home. 

READ ALSO: How is Italy using Covid health passes compared to elsewhere in Europe?

In its latest ordinance of July 29th, the Italian Health Ministry confirmed that documents issued by health authorities in any of the following countries would also be accepted in Italy:

  • Canada
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom (including England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and British military bases on Cyprus)
  • United States of America

Certificates can be shown in digital or paper format, the Ministry said, without giving further details.

While visitors from Canada, Israel, Japan and the US can already use health certificates issued in their own countries to avoid quarantine in Italy, the Italian government has separate restrictions on the UK that oblige travellers to self-isolate for five days on arrival.

Quarantine applies to everyone arriving in Italy from the UK – even if they’re fully vaccinated or recovered, and including after they test negative for coronavirus in the 48 hours before their trip, as all people departing from the UK are required to do.

Those restrictions will remain in place until at least August 30th.

EXPLAINED: How travel between the UK and Italy has changed

In the meantime, Italy’s extended green pass will come into force from August 6th – after which a health certificate will be required to enter indoor seating areas at bars and restaurants as well as concerts, museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas, sports stadiums, theme parks, indoor swimming pools, spas, and other venues and large events.

People with a certificate from an EU or Schengen country can continue to show their own version of the pass, while the Health Ministry’s latest announcement suggests that people whose documents were issued in Canada, Israel, Japan, the UK or the US will be able to do the same.

The decree is not explicit on this point, however, and further announcements may follow in the coming days.

A US vaccination card bearing the CDC logo. Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP

While some other EU/Schengen countries that already recognise non-EU health passes, including France and Switzerland, allow vaccinated travellers to convert their home country’s certificate into a separate EU version, it is not yet clear whether Italy intends to add this extra step.

Until the government clarifies further, visitors should be prepared to show their existing documents – such as the Israeli Green Pass, CDC-approved vaccination cards from the US, provincial immunization cards from Canada, government-issued paper vaccination certificates from Japan, or NHS certificates from the UK – in Italy. 

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

Italy’s government has not specified how it will verify non-EU certificates, which do not necessarily contain a QR code compatible with the EU-wide system. 

The Italian version of the health pass, which is only available to people who were vaccinated, tested or recovered in Italy, comes in digital or paper form and can be checked using an official authentification app.

According to reports from users, Italy’s VerificaC19 app does not currently appear to read QR codes from certificates issued outside the EU, including via the UK’s NHS app.

As things stand, the only way for people who are visiting Italy to obtain the Italian pass is to get a coronavirus test here. Find more details here.

The Local will report any further details of Italy’s green pass as they become available. In the meantime, find more information on the government’s Digital Covid Certificate website (in Italian).

Member comments

  1. I live in Mexico and have received two shots of the Pfiser vaccine. I also have a document from the Mexican government attesting to this. Why am I excluded from traveling to Italy?

  2. So the NHS Covid vaccination App (or printed vaccination status) is perfectly fine for getting into places in Italy but not good enough not to quarantine for 5 days???? Of course the Italians can say that, there won’t be many UK nationals there anyway!!!

  3. I just become a member, I think I should have done it much earlier. However, both my husband (working in Italy) and some colleagues have been vaccinated at the same day in July. All of them have received the document with the QR code and can obtain a green pass, but I haven’t received only the attesto di somministrazione vaccinale. They don’t or want give me the reason for this. I tried to download the green pass for people outside the Italian health system, but that failed. Anybody who knows the reason, why I can’t get it? I am now in Canada, so there is no urgent need for it, but I think a need it when I return to Italy.

    1. Hi Bernardina,

      Thanks for becoming a member, and sorry to hear you’ve had this trouble. We’ve had a lot of reports from readers who have been unable to download their green pass because of various technical problems. I hope one of the following articles might help:
      https://www.thelocal.it/20210726/explained-how-to-get-the-green-pass-without-an-authorisation-code/
      https://www.thelocal.it/20210802/how-italy-just-made-it-easier-to-download-a-covid-19-health-pass/

      Best wishes,
      – Clare

  4. I’ve just became a member too and I’m soo grateful I found you guys!!!

    I’m coming in for the UK September 5th with no vaccinations.

    1.Does this mean I would have to get a Antigen test every 48 hours
    2.How do i get the results of the antigen test on my phone as a green pass?

    Thanks x

  5. “In its latest ordinance of July 29th, the Italian Health Ministry confirmed that documents issued by health authorities in any of the following countries would also be accepted in Italy” What qualifies as a “health authority” for the purpose of a recovery certificate from the U.S.? Does my doctor qualify as a health authority, or will they need something from a government body like the CDC or NIH?

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TRAVEL NEWS

EU delays passport scan system and €7 travel fee until 2023

Two major changes that were due to come into force in 2022 for travellers entering the EU - an enhanced passport scanning system and the introduction of a €7 visa for tourists - have been delayed for a year.

EU delays passport scan system and €7 travel fee until 2023

Although both the EES and ETIAS schemes are still due to be introduced in the European Commission has pushed back the start dates for both until 2023.

It comes amid a chaotic summer for travel in Europe, with airports struggling with staff shortages and strikes while some crossings from the UK to France have been hit by long delays as extra post-Brexit checks are performed during the peak holiday season. 

The two separate changes to travel in the EU and Schengen zone were originally due to come into effect in 2020, but were delayed because of the pandemic. Now the EES system is expected to come into effect in May 2023, while ETIAS will come into effect in November 2023. 

The EES – Entry and Exit System – is essentially enhanced passport scanning at the EU’s borders and means passports will not only be checked for ID and security, but also for entry and exit dates, in effect tightening up enforcement of the ’90 day rule’ that limits the amount of time non-EU citizens can spend in the Bloc without having a visa.

It will not affect non-EU citizens who live in an EU country with a residency permit or visa.

There have been concerns that the longer checks will make transiting the EU’s external borders slower, a particular problem at the UK port of Dover, where the infrastructure is already struggling to cope with enhanced post-Brexit checks of people travelling to France.

You can read a full explanation of EES, what it is and who is affects HERE.

The ETIAS system will apply to all non-EU visitors to an EU country – eg tourists, second-home owners, those making family visits and people doing short-term work.

It will involve visitors registering in advance for a visa and paying a €7 fee. The visa will be valid for three years and can be used for multiple trips – essentially the system is very similar to the ESTA visa required for visitors to the USA. 

Residents of an EU country who have a residency card or visa will not need one.

You can read the full details on ETIAS, how it works and who it affects HERE.

Both systems will apply only to people who do not have citizenship of an EU country – for example Brits, Americans, Australians and Canadians – and will be used only at external EU/Schengen borders, so it won’t be required when travelling between France and Germany, for example. 

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