Italy’s ‘green pass’ app set to recognise UK NHS vaccinations ‘as soon as possible’

The Italian authorities have updated the VerificaC19 app to read UK vaccination certificates, according to a software fix on its developer platform - with reports of it already working for some British tourists in Italy.

Italy's 'green pass' app set to recognise UK NHS vaccinations 'as soon as possible'
Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Although Italy said it would accept health certificates from several non-EU countries, including the UK, many British travellers have found that they’ve been refused entry to Italy’s sites and venues.

The Italian government made its ‘green pass’ a requirement to enter indoor restaurants, museums, concert venues, gyms, spas, theme parks and many other cultural sites across the country from August 6th.

Medical proof of vaccination against Covid-19 issued in the UK should be accepted for green pass purposes throughout Italy, according to a recent health ministry ordinance – along with other EU countries, Canada, Israel, Japan and the US.

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

But after many UK tourists reported they were turned away from Italy’s restaurants and public sites on presenting their health certificate, an update on UK-generated QR codes was revealed on Italy’s digital green certificate software development site.

An Italian computer professor in the UK tweeted that Italy’s VerificaC19 app had gone through updates based on feedback, in order to read the QR codes created by the NHS Covid health certificates.

Although no official announcement has yet been made and the developers are still to make final approvals “in order to allow VerificaC19 to verify NHS Covid Pass as soon as possible”, some readers have contacted The Local to say that it’s already working for them.

Olivia Wybraniec reported that the app recognised her NHS health certificate and said she is “pleased” she won’t have to negotiate for entry into Italy’s sites and venues now.

READ ALSO: Can tourists and visitors use Italy’s Covid ‘green pass’ to access museums, concerts and indoor dining?

Others also confirmed the app is now reading their QR codes following their second vaccination dose.

It seems that continuing technical difficulties can be resolved by Italian businesses updating their VerificaC19 app.

Ross Salamone was disappointed when his QR code couldn’t be read, but then had success when the restaurant he visited downloaded the latest update.

Impett advised that the latest version – 1.1.0 – will work “shortly” after the second vaccination is recorded.

Other readers have contacted The Local to say that in the absence of the app working, they were simply allowed in to the restaurant or venue anyway and were asked to present their documents if an official turned up.

But as businesses risk fines of up to 1,000 euros if they are found not to be enforcing the rules, many sites and venues may seek to apply the rules much more stringently than this.

If you want to check beforehand that your NHS-generated QR code will be read, download the free government app VerificaC19 and select ‘Avvia scansione’ (‘Start scan’) to check your QR code.

If it’s accepted, you’ll see a green tick with the message ‘Certificazione valida‘ (‘Certificate valid’), alongside your name and date of birth.

That’s exactly what businesses and venues scanning your certificate in Italy will see too – for both digital and paper formats of your health certificate. They may also ask for a form of ID to cross-check.

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).

Member comments

  1. We have downloaded the VerificaC19 app ourselves and tried scanning our NHS covid passes but they don’t work on either of ours. My husband had EMA approved Astra Zeneca for both jabs but one of mine was the Indian supplied Covishield. The last I read this was now accepted by most EU countries but still not by Italy. Does anyone know if this is still the case please?

  2. Downloaded VerificaC19 app and it continually fails to read my double dose vaccine certificate (Vaxzevria made in GB). I have been refused restaurant access. Any ideas?

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Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Italian heathcare staff suspended over their refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19 can now return to work, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni confirmed on Monday.

Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Italy become the first country in Europe to make it obligatory for healthcare workers to be vaccinated, ruling in 2021 that they must have the jab or be transferred to other roles or suspended without pay.

That obligation had been set to expire in December, but was brought forward to Tuesday due to “a shortage of medical and health personnel”, Health Minister Orazio Schillaci said.

READ ALSO: Is Italy’s government planning to scrap all Covid measures?

Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, and has since registered nearly 180,000 deaths.

Schillaci first announced the plan to scrap the rule on Friday in a statement saying data showed the virus’ impact on hospitals  “is now limited”.

Those who refuse vaccination will be “reintegrated” into the workforce before the rule expires at the end of this year, as part of what the minister called a “gradual return to normality”.

Meloni said the move, which has been criticised by the centre-left as a win for anti-vax campaigners, would mean some 4,000 healthcare workers can return to work.

This includes some 1,579 doctors and dentists refusing vaccination, according to records at the end of October, representing 0.3 percent of all those registered with Italy’s National Federation of the Orders of Physicians, Surgeons and Dentists (Fnomceo) 

Meloni’s post-fascist Brothers of Italy party railed against the way Mario Draghi’s government handled the pandemic, when it was the main opposition party, and she promised to use her first cabinet meetings to mark a clear break in policies with her predecessor.