What can you still do in Italy without a Covid-19 'green pass'?

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What can you still do in Italy without a Covid-19 'green pass'?
People sit at a cafe terrace overlooking the sea on June 24, 2021 in Manarola, Cinque Terre National Park, near La Spezia, Nortwestern Italy. (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP)

While Covid-19 passports are now required in certain public spaces throughout Italy, you don't need one for everything. From taking the metro to dining outdoors, here's what you can still do in Italy without a green pass.


As of August 6th, certain businesses and cultural sites across Italy have to turn away customers without valid proof of vaccination, recovery or a recent negative test, as the government seeks to avoid returning to restrictions despite rapidly spreading coronavirus variants.

But the health passport isn't mandatory everywhere, and plenty of services can continue to operate with the standard safety measures of social distancing and face masks. 


If you aren't sure what Italy's Green Pass is or how to get one, find a complete overview here

If you've been having difficulty downloading yours, find our latest troubleshooting guides here:

And if you're just visiting Italy and are wondering whether you can use documents from another country, find more information here

Remember, you can still claim the pass even if you're not vaccinated (or if Italy does not recognise your vaccination): you'll need to get a coronavirus test, with testing available for free in several of Italy's biggest cities at pop-up clinics run by the Red Cross. Find more information here

With all that said, if you find yourself in Italy without a green pass this summer, here's what you will still be able to access.


What can you do in Italy without a Covid-19 health pass?

  • Sit outdoors at a bar or restaurant

The health certificate is only necessary if you want to sit inside a restaurant or bar. If your table is outdoors, all you have to do is observe social distancing.

  • Get a coffee at the counter

Likewise, you can drink your espresso standing at the counter of a café without showing a health pass: it's only if you want to sit at a table indoors that you'll need it. Just remember to keep your face mask on when you're not sipping.

  • Take public transport

Currently, the health pass isn't required on any form of transport within Italy. That's set to change from September 1st, when it will be needed to board long-distance trains, interregional coaches or ferries, private tour buses and domestic flights. 

Even after that change comes into effect, the green pass will not be required for shorter journeys on public transport, such as trips on the metro, trams, or local buses or trains.

  • Stay in a hotel

Accommodation owners in Italy do not have to ask guests for a health certificate in order to let them stay. In fact, so long as you're staying there you can also dine at the hotel's restaurant or have drinks at its bar without a pass – even indoors.

You might need to show a health pass in order to access certain hotel facilities, however, such as the gym, swimming pool or spa. You can also be asked for one if you're attending a conference or wedding reception on the hotel's premises.

READ ALSO: Ask an expert: ‘How can I still have my dream Italian wedding under Covid restrictions?’

Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP
  • Go shopping

Health certificates are not required at any shops in Italy, including malls and outlet centres.

  • Swim or play sports outdoors

Only indoor sports centres have to ask to see a Covid certificate. That means outdoor swimming pools, open-air gyms, tennis courts and other outdoor facilities remain open to people without a pass.

  • Go to the beach or mountains

Similarly, no proof of your health status is needed to go to the beach or enter Italy's national parks, mountains, lakes or any other nature spots. Private lidos are still supposed to enforce social distancing between sun beds, though.

  • Go to school

No school pupils of any age will have to show a health pass to return to class in the new term. Instead the pass will be mandatory for school employees, as well as the staff and students of universities.

What can't you do in Italy without a Covid-19 health pass?

The pass is now required at: indoor bars and restaurants; museums; theatres, cinemas and concert venues, including outdoors; gyms; indoor swimming pools; wellness centres and spas; theme parks; conferences and trade fairs; bingo halls, casinos, and other venues.

From September it will also be mandatory on long-distance public transport within Italy.

Find out more here

Find the latest updates in our health pass news section and further details on the Italian government’s official Green Pass website (currently only available in Italian).


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