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EXPLAINED: What documents can non-EU visitors use as a Covid pass in Italy?

EXPLAINED: What documents can non-EU visitors use as a Covid pass in Italy?
People from certain countries outside Italy can use their vaccination certificates as a health passport here. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
With proof of Covid-19 vaccination, recovery or a negative test now required to enter venues all over Italy, the government has clarified what documents certain visitors can show instead of an Italian certificate.

As of August 6th, Covid-19 certificates are required to enter indoor restaurants, museums, concert venues, gyms, spas, theme parks and more in Italy. 

From September, they’ll also be needed to board long-distance trains, coaches and domestic flights.

As visitors flock to Italy for the summer, many are wondering how what documents they’ll need to comply with the new rules.

Q&A: Your questions answered about Italy’s new Covid health pass

Italy’s so-called ‘green pass’ is designed for people who got vaccinated, recovered or tested in Italy, which means that people immunised overseas won’t usually be able to swap their vaccination certificate for an Italian one.

But the good news – at least for some people – is that certain visitors don’t need to. 

Anyone who lives in another EU or Schengen country can simply show the same certificate they use at home throughout Italy, as part of the bloc’s agreement to recognise each other’s documents.

Separately, Italy has also agreed to accept certificates from five countries outside the EU or Schengen Zone. 

Which non-EU Covid certificates does Italy recognise?

In an ordinance of July 29th, the Italian Health Ministry confirmed that documents issued by health authorities in any of the following countries would 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

What if I was vaccinated somewhere else?

The five countries above – plus members of the EU or Schengen Zone – are the only ones whose certificates Italy has agreed to recognise. 

That means that travellers from any other countries, including those who are fully vaccinated or recovered, will not be able to use their certificates as a health passport in Italy.

In this case, you should plan on claiming an Italian green pass by getting a coronavirus test: find out more information here

Which vaccines does Italy accept?

If you were vaccinated in one of the five selected countries, Italy will only recognise your shots if you received a Covid vaccine that is approved for use in the EU.

Currently that includes four vaccines:

  • Comirnaty (made by Pfizer-BioNTech)
  • Spikevax (Moderna)
  • Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca)
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

What information should the certificate contain?

With certificates varying considerably from country to country or even between states and provinces, the Italian government has since specified what exactly the documents need to show.

According to a Health Ministry circular of 30th July, your certificate needs to state:

  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth 
  • Name and batch number of vaccine 
  • Date(s) you got your jab(s)
  • Details of the authority that issued the certificate, such as your country’s national health service, ministry of health or local health authorities

What language should it be in?

The circular states that your certificate should be in “at least one” of the following languages:

  • Italian
  • English
  • Spanish
  • French

Certificates in any other language must be accompanied by a certified translation.

Is my vaccination certificate valid in Italy if I’ve only had one dose?

According to the government’s circular, certificates from one of these five non-EU countries have the same terms of validity as the equivalents issued in Italy. 

So since Italy issues its own green pass after the first dose of any vaccine – including ones that require two shots total – presumably a single dose would also suffice for people vaccinated in one of the countries on the list.

The circular does not explicitly state this fact, however, and there is likely to be some confusion over the matter among venues checking certificates. Be prepared to face at least some extra questions if your overseas certificate only lists the first of two doses.

READ ALSO: ‘Do you have your green pass?’: Tourists caught short as Italy brings in new Covid rules

Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

How do you prove you recovered from Covid-19 outside the EU? 

Italy will also recognise medical certificates of recovery from Canada, Israel, Japan, the UK or the US, so long as they were issued within the past six months. 

They should contain at least:

  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth 
  • The date you first tested positive for coronavirus
  • Details of the health authority that issued the certificate

All recovery certificates must be accompanied by a certified translation into Italian. 

Does Italy accept paper vaccination certificates from outside the EU?

The Health Ministry says visitors from one of the five selected countries can show their certificates – whether for vaccination or recovery – in digital form or as hard copies.

Visitors from the US, for example, should be able to show either their CDC-approved vaccination card or a digital certificate within their state’s official app. 

However, some users have reported that Italy’s health pass verification app does not appear to recognise QR codes of digital certificates issued outside the EU (you can check by downloading the Italian government’s free VerificaC19 app and scanning yours). 

If you’re planning to use a digital certificate, make sure that it displays all the information listed above – not just a QR code – and to have a back-up, consider bringing the paper version with you to Italy too.

Find the latest updates in our green pass news section and further details on the official website (currently only available in Italian).


Member comments

  1. You need to be careful, my NHS code works fine, BUT you have to use the second vaccination QR code, not the first one, when you open the NHS app the first vaccination QR code is there, you need to swipe left to get the second QR code and then the VerificaC19 Italian App will accept the QR Code.

  2. Hi – I just got back to Umbria after 3 days in Venice and all the museums accepted my vaccine certificate issued by the Ministry of Health in Singapore which is on the EU list of officially recognised countries although not the Italian list. I had a hard copy and my Singapore ID card and they were all very happy to take that.

  3. So if you are guaranteed to know that everybody in a museum is vaccinated, why do you still have to wear a mask?

  4. They will probably wait until the end of the tourist season and lockdown in October like they did last year with European tourists. I think it’s unlikely. I’m expecting they will try to stay open through the holiday season this year.

  5. So annoying, NHS QR code works perfectly with TousAntiCovid , you can even add it to your certificates on that app and the french app scans and recognise it but the Verifica19 app doesn’t recognise the NHS certificate. Why could’t they have used the same scan app? or italy update theirs?

    We had to explain for 10 min that our NHS app was allowed in italy……

    1. It does work with the VerificaC19 – but it only does so with the second vaccination QR code – there are two QR codes on the NHS “travel” version – one for each does, so if you are using the version on an phone, swipe left to get the second dose QR code & try that.

    2. True, it doesn’t seem to work.
      Click where it says “Quale sono i motivi di non validità?” and in the accompanying notes (second from last FAQ) it states that the UK cert is equivalent and acceptable. Hopefully it will do the trick if you show this:
      Quali altri Certificazioni extra-Ue vengono riconosciute come valide in Italia per spostamenti e attività?
      Con l’ordinanza del 29 luglio 2021 del Ministero della salute le certificazioni rilasciate dalle autorità sanitarie del Canada, Giappone, Israele, Regno Unito di Gran Bretagna e Irlanda del Nord… e Stati Uniti d’America, sono riconosciute come equivalenti a quelle dell’Unione Europea emesse dopo la vaccinazione oppure un test negativo oppure la guarigione da COVID-19.

      Le certificazioni possono essere esibite in formato digitale o cartaceo, nel rispetto dei requisiti della Circolare del 30 luglio 2021 del Ministero della salute per quanto riguarda vaccinazione e guarigione. Le Certificazioni permettono di accedere ad attività e servizi in Italia al pari della Certificazione verde COVID-19.

  6. They will probably wait until the end of the tourist season and lockdown in October like they did last year with European tourists. I think it’s unlikely. I’m expecting they will try to stay open through they holiday season this year.

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