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COVID-19 RULES

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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COVID-19 RULES

Italy lifts mask mandate for private sector workers

Masks will no longer be required in the workplace but Italian companies will have the right to impose restrictions for employees deemed "at risk".

Italy lifts mask mandate for private sector workers

Representatives from the Italian Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Health and all major national unions collectively signed off on Thursday a new “shared protocol” (protocollo condiviso) for the implementation of anti-Covid measures in private workplaces. 

Although the full text of the bill will only be made available to the public sometime next week, portions of the document have already been released to the media, thus disclosing the government’s next steps in the fight against the virus.

The most relevant update concerns face masks, which will no longer be mandatory in private workplaces. 

However, the text specifies, FFP2 face masks remain “an important protective item aimed at safeguarding workers’ health”. As such, employers will have the right to autonomously impose the use of face coverings on categories of workers considered “at risk”.

READ ALSO: Italy’s transport mask rule extended to September as Covid rate rises

Notably, face coverings may remain mandatory for those working in “indoor settings shared by multiple employees” or even in “outdoor settings where social distancing may not be practicable”. Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions (soggetti fragili) may also be subject to such rules, which, it is worth reminding, are left to the employer’s discretion. 

Alongside mask-related restrictions, employers will also have the right to have their staff undergo temperature checks prior to entering the workplace. In such cases, anyone with a body temperature higher than 37.5C will be denied access to the workplace and will be asked to temporarily self-isolate pending further indications from their own doctor.

In line with previous measures, companies will be required to continue supplying sanitising products free of charge and regulate access to common areas (canteens, smoking areas, etc.) so as to avoid gatherings.

Additionally, employers will be advised to keep incentivising smart working (lavoro agile), as it has proved to be “a valuable tool to curb infection, especially for at-risk individuals”.

Provided that the country’s infection curve registers no significant changes, the updated protocol will remain in place until October 31st, when it will yet again be reviewed by the relevant governmental and social parties. 

With the latest round of measures, Italy has now scrapped all Covid-related health measures, except the requirement to wear face masks on public transport (though not on planes) and in healthcare settings, and self-isolation provisions for those testing positive. 

READ ALSO: At a glance: What are the Covid-19 rules in Italy now?

Italy’s infection curve has been rising significantly since the beginning of June. From June 1st to June 14th, Covid’s R (spreading rate) rate rose back over 1 for the first time since April 8th. Also, from June 17th to June 23rd, the virus’s incidence rate was 504 cases every 100,000 residents, up by 62 per cent on the previous week.

According to Claudio Mastroianni, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Sapienza University of Rome, “with 25 per cent of daily Covid swabs coming back positive and a R rate over 1, the infection curve will likely rise at least until mid-July”.

However, albeit acknowledging the rising number of positive cases, Deputy Health Minister Andrea Costa has so far categorically excluded the possibility of re-introducing lapsed Covid measures, saying that it’ll be a “restriction-free summer”.

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