Italian hotels protest new Covid green pass requirement

A new requirement for all hotel guests in Italy to show a health certificate will be a further blow to tourism this winter, industry associations said.

A hotel owners shows a list of safety rules and precautions for customers against the spread of Covid-19.
A hotel owners shows a list of Covid-19 safety rules and precautions for customers. Photo: Vincenzo PINTO/AFP

The Italian government on Wednesday announced a raft of extensions to the current Covid-19 restrictions including a new requirement for all hotel guests to show a health certificate, known as a ‘green pass’ in Italy.

Under current rules in Italy, health passes must be shown to enter many leisure and cultural venues as well as to access workplaces and some forms of public transport. But so far, hotels have remained exempt from the requirement.

READ ALSO: Italy to impose ‘super green pass’ Covid restrictions on unvaccinated

This is set to change as of December 6th, as all hotels will be required to check that guests have a valid certificate proving they are vaccinated, have recently recovered from Covid-19 or have tested negative.

Italian hoteliers association Federalberghi stated in a press release on Wednesday that new requirements risk “preventing millions of foreign tourists from reaching our country,” especially those from countries administering vaccines not recognised by the European Medicines Agency.

The association’s statement read: “Competing countries will be given an advantage, waiting with open arms for the millions of foreign tourists (Asian, Russian, Brazilian, etc.) that Italy is preparing to reject.”

The government confirmed that it would not place ‘super green pass’ requirements on hotels, which would limit access only to those who are vaccinated or recovered.

Instead, the current green pass will be required, meaning that hotels can also accept passes generated based on a negative test result.

READ ALSO: Q&A: How will Italy’s new Covid ‘super green pass’ work?

However, Federalberghi president Bernabò Bocca told reporters that hotel operators were still facing “unequal treatment”. 

“Hotels, which already suffer from strong competition from other forms of accommodation, are required to strictly comply with the new provisions but this is not the case for short-term rentals where compliance with the rules is not guaranteed.”

Employees stand behind screens at the reception desk of Rome’s Sheraton Parco de Medici hotel. Photo: Andreas SOLARO/AFP

Maria Carmela Colaiacovo, president of the Confindustria Association of Hotels, told newspaper La Republica that the rules would “risk making it impossible for families who choose to stay in a hotel to organise a holiday.”

She noted that some visitors would be coming from countries where under-16s are not yet being vaccinated, while Italy requires a green pass for all over 12s.

“The holidays are upon us and it is essential that we have clear indications on this immediately, taking into account the complexities that concern these cases.”

EXPLAINED: How will Italy’s Covid restrictions change in December? 

A statement from business association Confesercenti read: “The hope is that [the green pass] will at least serve to avoid restrictions and the closure of economic activity during the Christmas period; this would be the final blow for tens of thousands of businesses which have not yet recovered from the limitations imposed last year.”

Italy’s new coronavirus decree, unanimously approved by the Council of Ministers on Wednesday, tightens a range of restrictions as the government pushes to increase vaccine uptake and flatten Italy’s contagion curve as infection rates rise across Europe.

Member comments

  1. I think you might have already addressed the question. How can a non European person who has a home in Italy and is fully vaccinated and planning on visiting Italy in December get a green pass?

    Will my international vaccine certification generated in Australia be sufficient to get me into the country?

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Reader question: What are Italy’s Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Italy's quarantine rules have changed so many times over the past couple of years, it can be hard to keep track. Here's the latest information on when and how visitors need to self-isolate.

Reader question: What are Italy's Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Question: “One of your recent articles says you can exit quarantine by testing negative for the coronavirus. But you can also exit quarantine by obtaining a certificate of recovery from Covid-19… true?”

Unfortunately, official proof of having recovered from Covid-19 won’t get you out of the requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid while visiting Italy – though it can shorten your quarantine period.

The health ministry’s current rules state that anyone who tests positive while in Italy is required to immediately self-isolate for a minimum of seven days: that’s if the person in question is fully vaccinated and boosted, or has completed their primary vaccination cycle, or was certified as being recovered from Covid less than 120 days ago.

That period is extended to 10 days for those who aren’t fully vaccinated and boosted, or those who recovered from Covid or completed their primary vaccination cycle more than 120 days ago.

In either case, the infected person must have been symptomless for at least three days in order to exit quarantine (with the exception of symptoms relating to a lost sense of taste or smell, which can persist for some time after the infection is over).

READ ALSO: Travel in Italy and Covid rules this summer: what to expect

The patient must also test negative for the virus via either a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test on the final day of the quarantine in order to be allowed out.

Read more about getting tested while in Italy in a separate article here.

Quarantined people who keep testing positive for the virus can be kept in self-isolation for a maximum of 21 days, at which point they will be automatically released.

Italy does not currently require visitors from any country to test negative in order to enter its borders, as long as they are fully boosted or were recently vaccinated/ have recently recovered from Covid.

READ ALSO: How tourists and visitors can get a coronavirus test in Italy

Some countries (including the US), however, do require people travelling from Italy to test negative before their departure – which means visitors at the tail end of their journey could be hit with the unpleasant surprise of finding out they need to quarantine for another week in Italy instead of heading home as planned.

It’s because of this rule that a number of The Local’s readers told us they wouldn’t be coming on holiday to Italy this summer, and intend to postpone for another year.

If you are planning on visiting Italy from a country that requires you to test negative for Covid prior to re-entry, it’s a good idea to consider what you would do and where you would go in the unlikely event you unexpectedly test positive.

Please note that The Local cannot advise on specific cases. For more information about how the rules may apply to you, see the Italian Health Ministry’s website or consult the Italian embassy in your country.

You can keep up with the latest updates via our homepage or Italian travel news section.