Italian student goes viral after getting Covid green pass tattooed on arm

A 22-year-old student in Italy has become an unexpected Internet sensation after tattooing the barcode of his Covid certificate on his arm.

Italian student goes viral after getting Covid green pass tattooed on arm
A bar owner uses the VerifyC19 mobile phone application to scan a Green Pass in central Rome on August 6th, 2021, when Italy made the Green Pass, which is an extension of the EU's digital Covid certificate, a requirement for entering cinemas, museums and indoor sports venues, or eating indoors at restaurants. Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Andrea Colonnetta said he hadn’t given much thought in advance before getting his latest tattoo, but decided on the topical — and practical — choice after talking with tattoo artist Gabriele Pellerone.

“It’s certainly something original, I like to be different,” Colonnetta, from the southern city of Reggio Calabria, told Corriere della Calabria newspaper.

The underside of Colonnetta’s left arm now bears a matrix of black squares from the QR code of his official Italian green pass.


GREEN pass tattoo #tatuaggi #tattoo #tatuatori #greenpass #tatuaggio


The pass gives proof of coronavirus status — that you are vaccinated, have recovered from the virus or tested negative in the last 48 hours.

An extension of the EU’s digital Covid certificate, it has been required in Italy since August 6th to get into cinemas, museums and indoor sports venues or to eat indoors at restaurants.

READ ALSO: ‘It’s very frustrating’: Why some vaccinated people in Italy are still unable to get a Covid-19 green pass

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What documents can EU visitors use as a Covid pass in Italy?

Colonnetta, who said he had received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine, said although he has received lots of attention on Instagram and TikTok, his parents were left a bit perplexed. 

“Certainly they encouraged me to be less impulsive and to better reflect on things…” he told the paper.

But his new barcode works, he said: a video posted on TikTok by Pellerone shows a masked Colonnetta entering McDonald’s and lifting his arm to take a photo of his tattoo.

A security guard at the entrance is seen scanning Colonnetta’s photo before the video ends abruptly, but a second video shows the pass being accepted and Colonnetta getting his burger. 


Green pass tatuato, scan al Mc. #tatuaggi #tatuatori #mcdonalds #mc #greenpass

♬ suono originale – gabrielepellerone

Member comments

  1. Hmm, looking at the video, he’s not tattooed the ‘green pass’ he’s tattooed a web QR code that then links to a URL that then has the image of an actual green pass QR, so someone needs to scan it with one phone to bring up the actual pass and then another phone to scan the phone showing the pass

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Italian government begins talks on Covid ‘super green pass’

Italy is set to tighten the rules on its health certificate scheme from December as Covid-19 contagion and hospitalisation rates continue to rise.

Employees in Italy must show Covid health passes to access workplaces.
Employees in Italy must show Covid health passes to access workplaces - but are the rules about to get stricter? Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Note: This article is no longer being updated. Please find the latest news here.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will hold a meeting with regional leaders on Monday evening, beginning several days of talks on a new government decree which is expected to be announced by Friday, reports national broadcaster Rai.

As the health situation has worsened across Italy in recent weeks – particularly in the north-eastern regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto and the autonomous province of Bolzano – leaders of local governments are increasingly pushing for new measures, mainly in the form of further restrictions on the unvaccinated under a so-called “super green pass” scheme.

KEY POINTS: Italy’s new plans to contain the Covid fourth wave

Italy began rolling out its health certificate or ‘green pass’ for domestic use in August, initially making it a requirement at many leisure and cultural venues such as cinemas and indoor restaurants, before extending its use to workplaces and some forms of public transport. 

The certificate shows that the bearer has been vaccinated against Covid-19, has recovered from the disease within the last six months, or has tested negative in the last few days.

Instead, the proposed ‘super green pass’ would only be issued to those who are vaccinated or recovered, with passes issued based on testing in future only valid for entry to workplaces.

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

While no concrete decisions have yet been made, sources within the health ministry have indicated that it is considering the measure for any region declared a higher-risk ‘orange’ zone.

“Closures and restrictions must not be paid for by the vaccinated,” said Health Undersecretary Andrea Costa, adding that the ‘super green pass’ plan would “guarantee the unvaccinated access to workplaces and basic needs, but certain activities such as going to a restaurant, cinema or theatre should be reserved for the vaccinated if the situation worsens.”

“It is clear that we must bring in new initiatives,” he said in an interview with Sky TG24 on Sunday.

EXPLAINED: Will Italy bring in a Covid lockdown for the unvaccinated?

At the moment all of Italy remains in the lowest-risk ‘white’ zone, with few health measures in place.

However several regions are now nearing the thresholds at which they would be moved into the ‘yellow’ zone next week, and – if the situation continues to worsen – then risk being placed under orange zone restrictions two weeks later.

Costa said a planned third dose obligation for health workers “is already foreseen and I think it will be approved this week.”

Health Minister Roberto Speranza put forward proposals last week to make third doses obligatory for the healthcare staff already subject to a vaccine requirement, and also to cut the validity of Italy’s Covid-19 health certificate – the so-called green pass – from 12 to nine months for people who are vaccinated, including with a third dose.

READ ALSO: Italy to start Covid boosters for over-40s on Monday as infection rate rises

The changes have not yet been formally approved, but are expected to come in from December 1st under the planned new decree set to be signed into law by the end of the week.

Other measures the government is reportedly considering include cutting the validity of green passes based on PCR test results from 72 to 48 hours, and those from the results of rapid testing will be reduced from 48 to 24 hours.

There have also been calls from health experts and regional leaders to stop issuing green passes based on rapid test results altogether, as these are less reliable than the results of a PCR test.