Update: Italy recognises Indian-produced Covishield vaccine for travel

Italy’s health ministry has confirmed that it now recognises the Indian-produced AstraZeneca vaccine Covishield, ending travel uncertainty for people inoculated with the jab in India as well as other countries including Canada and the UK.

Update: Italy recognises Indian-produced Covishield vaccine for travel
Vials of the Covishield vaccine in Hyderabad, India. Noah SEELAM / AFP

Previously Italy had only recognised the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) – AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty), Moderna (Spikevax), Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) – meaning that only those immunised with one of the four vaccines were considered fully vaccinated when entering the country.

In a circular issued on September 23rd, the health ministry stated that it now recognises the equivalence of the following Covid-19 vaccines to those already listed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA):

  • Covishield (Serum Institute of India);
  • R-CoVI (R-Pharm);
  • Covid-19 vaccine recombinant (Fiocruz).

Italy is the 19th European. country to recognise Coishield, after Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Slovenia, the Netherlands, France, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The move means that those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 with these vaccines  can now enter Italy without being subject to the entry ban, through restrictions as testing or quarantine may apply.

Additionally, those immunised with the jab may now be eligible to request an Italian green pass once in the country, and can in any case use their proof of vaccination abroad as an equivalent document.

“It should be noted that these vaccines are also considered valid for the issuing of the Covid-19 green certification for Italian citizens (including residents abroad) to their cohabiting family members and to foreign citizens residing in Italy for reasons of work or study, regardless of whether they are registered with the National Health Service, as well as all subjects registered in any capacity to the National Health Service who have been vaccinated abroad against SARS-CoV-2,” the circular states.

“The vaccination certificates issued by foreign national health authorities, as a result of vaccination with vaccines authorized by EMA or with the equivalent vaccines mentioned above, are considered as equivalent to the Covid-19 green certification for the purposes provided for by law.”

READ ALSO: Reader question: Can I convert my foreign vaccination certificate into an Italian Covid green pass?

Depending on which country you travel from, testing and quarantine requirements may still apply.

At present, the Italian Foreign Ministry’s website states: “People entering/returning to Italy from Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, or after a stay/transit in Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka in the previous 14 days, are subject to specific containment measures, with few exceptions.”

The requirements in place for travellers from these countries include a ten-day quarantine period and three negative test results.

Travellers from countries including the UK, US and Canada currently do not face quarantine requirements in Italy if they can show proof of full vaccination – now including with Covishield – as well as a negative test result on arrival.

Find more information about the current coronavirus-related restrictions on travel to Italy on the Foreign Ministry’s website (in English).

Member comments

  1. Yes, at last! I’ve been double vaccinated since May but, because of Covishield, haven’t been able to visit Italy. I’m really looking forward to visiting Italy sometime this year.

  2. This is great news…now…help us with this…many in Canada had a mix…first Covishield, then an MRNA vaccine.
    Is there news on this aspect? Or, should it be presumed that if Canada (or a provincial jurisdiction) issues a confirmed Vaccine Status Passport, that it will be accepted as ‘fully vaccinated’ status in Italia?
    Keeping up with the rules and digging through websites is an onerous task…but has to be done.
    My fellow, you are readers are an immense source of info. Grazie Mille!

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Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

It will still be obligatory for passengers to wear masks on flights to Italy until mid-June, despite the end of the EU-wide requirement on Monday, May 16th, the Italian government has confirmed.

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

The Italian government reiterated on Friday that its current mask-wearing rules remain in place until June 15th, reports newspaper Corriere della Sera.

This means the mask mandate will still apply to all air passengers travelling to or from Italy, despite the end of an EU-wide requirement to wear masks on flights and at airports across the bloc from Monday.

READ ALSO: Reader question: What type of mask will I need for travel to Italy?

National regulations take precedence, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) confirmed when announcing the end of the EU rules.

“Wearing face masks at airports and inflight should be aligned with national measures on wearing masks in public transport and transport hubs,” they said in a joint statement published on May 11th.

READ ALSO: Why are so many Italians still wearing face masks in shops?

“If either the departure or destination States require the wearing of face masks on public transport, aircraft operators should require passengers and crew to comply with those requirements inflight, beyond 16 May 2022.

“Further, as of 16 May 2022, aircraft operators, during their pre-flight communications as well as during the flight, should continue to encourage their passengers and crew members to wear face masks during the flight as well as in the airport, even when wearing a face mask is not required”.

The Spanish government also said on Thursday that air passengers would have to continue wearing face masks on planes.

Italy’s current rules specify that higher-grade FFP2 masks should be worn on all forms of public transport, including buses, trams, regional and high-speed trains, ferries, and planes.

Though rules were eased in some settings from May 1st, masks also remain a requirement until June 15th at Italy’s cinemas and theatres, hospitals and care homes, indoor sporting event and concert venues, schools and universities.