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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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For members

STRIKES

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travellers are once again set to face serious disruption as Italy will experience a new round of transport strikes in February. Here's what you can expect in the coming weeks.

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travel to, from and across Italy was disrupted by dozens of strikes in January

And, while many travellers might have hoped for a change in the trend, strikes are set to continue into February as Italian unions have already announced a further round of demonstrations affecting rail and public transport services as well as airline travel.

Here’s an overview of February’s main strike actions, including a national public transport strike on Friday, February 17th and another nationwide walkout from airport ground staff on Tuesday, February 28th.

Public transport

February 17th: Public transport staff will take part in a national 24-hour strike on Friday, February 17th. 

The strike was called in late January by Italian union USB (Unione Sindacale di Base) to protest against precarious work and “wild privatisation” attempts on the part of the Italian state.

READ ALSO: Should you travel in Italy when there’s a strike on?

There currently aren’t any details as to what percentage of workers will take part in the action. As such, the amount of disruption travellers should expect on the day cannot be estimated yet. 

Air travel

February 12th: Air traffic control staff at Perugia’s San Francesco d’Assisi airport will take part in a 24-hour strike action on Sunday, February 12th. 

It isn’t yet clear how the walkout in question will affect air travel to and from the airport on the day.

Travellers at an Italian airport

A national strike from ground service staff may cause delays and queues at many Italian airports on Tuesday, February 28th. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

February 28th: Baggage handlers and other airport ground service staff will take part in a national 24-hour strike on Tuesday, February 28th. 

It isn’t yet clear how the strike will affect air travel during the day, though a similar demonstration caused significant delays and queues at some Italian airports in late January.

ENAV air traffic operators based in Calabria are also expected to strike on February 28th, with the walkout set to start at 1pm and end at 5pm.

Rail

February 5th-6th: Calabria-based Trenitalia staff will strike from 9pm on Sunday, February 5th to 9pm the following day. 

A list of guaranteed services in the region is available here.

February 9th: Staff from Lombardy’s Trenord will take part in a 22-hour strike – from 2am to 11.50pm – on Thursday, February 9th.

Empty train platform in Codogno, Lombardy

Staff from Lombardy’s regional railway operator Trenord will strike for 22 hours on Thursday, February 9th. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

It’s currently unclear whether Trenord will operate minimum services on the day. Any information regarding the strike will be released on the following website page

February 12th-13th: Trenitalia staff in Emilia-Romagna will strike from 3.30am on Sunday, February 12th to 2.30am on Monday, February 13th.

A list of guaranteed services in the region is available here.

February 19th: Veneto-based Trenitalia staff will strike from 9am to 5pm on Sunday, February 19th. 

Guaranteed services are available here.

On the same day, there will be no service between Milan’s Milano Centrale station and Paris’s Gare de Lyon due to a strike from staff at France’s national railway company SNCF.

READ ALSO: Trains and planes: Italy’s new international travel routes in 2023

February 20th: Trenitalia personnel in Lombardy are expected to strike from 9am to 5pm on Monday, February 20th. 

Guaranteed services haven’t been made available yet. 

You can keep up to date with the latest strike news from Italy HERE.

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