EXPLAINED: Where do you now need to show a Covid green pass in Italy?

EXPLAINED: Where do you now need to show a Covid green pass in Italy?
Visitors show their green passes before entering the Vatican Museums. Photo: Andreas SOLARO / AFP
The rules around where and when a green pass is required in Italy have shifted in recent days and weeks. Here's a complete list of the current contexts in which you’ll need Italy’s Covid health certificate (or an equivalent).

Before we start, a quick recap of what the health pass is:

The Italian Covid-19 health certificate proves bearers have either been vaccinated with at least one dose, have recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months, or have tested negative in the previous 48 hours.

If you don’t have the Italian health pass or an equivalent recognised by the Italian authorities (see our ‘Equivalent passes’ section below), you will need to get tested in Italy or elsewhere in the EU in order to claim a certificate that remains valid for 48 hours.

You can download the pass containing a QR code to your phone, or print it out if you prefer to carry a paper copy. If you were vaccinated or tested in Italy, find out more about getting your pass here.

Children under 12 are exempt from the green pass requirement. The rules apply to everyone over that age, including tourists and non-resident visitors.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How can you get Italy’s ‘green pass’ if you’re not vaccinated?

Now, on to our guide for when and where you’ll need the pass:



Since September 1st, the green pass has been obligatory for passengers using interregional public transport, including trains, domestic flights and ferries, as well as international services. It is not a requirement on city buses, trams or other forms of local public transport.

All passengers on high-speed train services and on Intercity services will have their pass verified along with their tickets on board the train. Passengers who can’t show a valid green pass will be asked to move to an area reserved for passengers without a green pass and will then have to get off at the next stop, according to national rail operator Trenitalia.

The Strait of Messina ferry route, which connects Sicily with mainland Italy, is considered a local public transport route and is exempted from the requirement, according to the Italian news site Avvenire.

READ ALSO: Italy makes Covid ‘green pass’ compulsory for school staff and on public transport from September


Leisure and culture:

Since August 6th, the pass has been required to enter:

  • Performances open to the public, sporting events and competitions (that includes football matches in open-air stadiums).
  • Museums, exhibitions and other cultural sites and spaces.
  • Indoor swimming pools, sports centres, gyms and spas (including within private commercial accommodation – so your hotel will ask to see your green pass before you enter any indoor leisure facilities).
  • Festivals, fairs, and conferences.
  • Theme parks and amusement parks.
  • Indoor activities in cultural, social and recreational centres, with the exception of educational centers for children and summer day centres.
  • Gaming rooms, betting rooms, bingo halls and casinos.

Failing to check the pass can earn both customers and venues a fine from €400 to €1,000, with businesses that repeatedly break the rules risk being forced to close for up to ten days. 

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Where do you need to show a Covid ‘green pass’ in Italy from August 6th?

Bars and restaurants:

Since August 6th, the pass has been required in indoor seating areas at bars and restaurants; it is not currently required to eat or drink in outdoor seating areas.

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.

In the least restricted ‘white’ zone (currently most of Italy), there is no limit on how many people can sit at a table, whereas in the more restricted ‘yellow’ zone (currently only Sicily), restaurants can seat a maximum of four people to a table, regardless of who has a green pass and whether the table is indoors or outdoors.

Schools and universities:

Since August 6th, university students across Italy have been required to show a green pass to enter university premises

On September 1st, that requirement was expanded to include all school and university employees including teachers and support staff; and on September 9th, it was further extended to external workers in schools and universities, such as cleaning company and canteen staff, as well as parents of schoolchildren.

READ ALSO: Parents in Italy to require Covid green pass to enter schools

School staff who fail to show their pass for five days straight will be suspended and have their pay frozen, while non-staff face fines of up to €1,000 for entering without the pass.

The rule is a key part of the government’s strategy to ensure that pupils can learn in person, after constantly changing Covid restrictions kept them in and out of classrooms for much of the past 18 months.

Vincenzo PINTO / AFP


In addition to expanding the requirements for schools, the September 9th decree also introduced new green pass requirements for external workers in the health and social care sectors.

But the major change to look out for is the one coming in on October 15th. From that date, all employees across Italy will be required to have a green pass in order to continue doing their jobs.

Workers failing to produce a pass will face fines of up to €1,500, while unjustified absences due to failure to secure a pass could lead to the employee being suspended, according to media reports. 

Separately, Italy has since April mandated vaccines for anyone working in public or private social health positions, including in pharmacies and doctors’ offices. 

READ ALSO: LATEST: Italy extends Covid ‘green pass’ requirement to all workplaces


Places where you still don’t need a health pass:

As touched on above, you don’t need a green pass to take local, non-interregional public transport, such as trips on the metro, trams, or local buses or trains; and you don’t need a certificate to have a drink at the bar, provided you keep your mask on when you’re not sipping.

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.

Equivalent passes: 

You may not need the Italian version of the health pass for travel and leisure purposes, depending on which country you’re visiting from.

Italy recognises all equivalent health passes from other EU countries and proof of immunisation issued from any of these five non-EU countries, including on paper.

That means visitors just need to carry the official proof of vaccination issued by your home country, such as a CDC-approved vaccination card from the US, a provincial immunisation card from Canada or an NHS vaccination certificate from the UK.

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