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COVID-19 RULES

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

The Italian government has brought in new 'super green pass' rules aimed at keeping the coronavirus infection rate under control this winter. Here's what you need to know.

Italy's Covid-19 health pass
The rules on using Italy's Covid-19 health pass changed on December 6th. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Italy has introduced new restrictions for those who are not vaccinated against or recovered from Covid-19 under so-called ‘super green pass’ rules.

The measures, which Prime Minister Mario Draghi says are needed to “preserve normality”, will be in place until at least January 15th, with the possibility that they will be extended further into 2022.

The Italian government announced the details of the new restrictions on Sunday afternoon, just hours before the ‘super’ or rafforzato (reinforced) green pass rules came into effect.

As the government on Monday morning published full details of the new rules (find them here, in Italian) here’s our latest update with what you need to know.

What is Italy’s ‘super green pass’ and how have the rules changed?

Italy has been requiring some form of ‘green pass’ or health certificate within the country as well as for travel since August.

But now, the ‘strengthened’ version of the green pass will be used to prove vaccination or recovery, in cases where a negative test result will no longer suffice.

“The reinforced green pass only applies to those who are either vaccinated or cured,” stated a government press release.

From December 6th, basic green passes issued based on negative test results will no longer be valid for entry to many cultural and leisure venues.

Where is the ‘super green pass’ required?

Those who are not vaccinated or recovered will now be unable to access many venues where the green pass was previously required. 

This applies to theatres, cinemas, concerts, indoor restaurants, and sporting events – regardless of which coloured zone they are in under Italy’s four-tiered system of risk assessment: 

The government on Sunday issued further details of how the green pass would apply differently in different settings and under different tiers. See the full breakdown here.

How do you get a ‘super green pass’?

If you already have an Italian green pass due to being vaccinated against or recovered from Covid, you don’t need to do anything to upgrade it.

These certificates will automatically be considered a ‘super green pass’, and users can go on as before.

The Italian health ministry announced that its verification app used to check passes has been updated to reflect the changes.

Due to the large number of rule changes recently, many people in Italy believe that a ‘super green pass’ refers to one issued based on three doses of a vaccine.

But the name in fact refers to passes based on any number of vaccine doses, or recovery from Covid-19.

Updated green passes will be issued following booster jabs, showing an extended validity period. These updated passes will also be considered ‘super green passes’.

What do I do if I can’t download my green pass?

When you get a first, second or third dose of a vaccine in Italy your personal data should be uploaded to the national health ministry database, which will then release an updated green pass automatically. 

“If you have had a booster dose of vaccine, remember that a new Covid-19 green certification will be issued,” states the health ministry’s official green pass website.

“You will receive a message via SMS or email with a new AUTHCODE code to download it. If you do not receive this within 48 hours of vaccination you can try to retrieve it yourself on this site.”

This advice may not work for foreign residents who are not registered with the national health service, however.

If you have not received your updated green pass (including if you are not registered with the national health service) the current advise is to email your local health office (ASL or USL) to request that the code be resent. You will need to submit proof of your most recent vaccination, a copy of your ID, and any other details requested by the office.

If this doesn’t work, you’ll likely need to make a phone call to your regional health authority or speak to your doctor or pharmacist to see how they can help you.

Do these rules apply to foreign visitors?

All previous health measures including green pass rules have applied to everyone in the country aged over 12 regardless of nationality or residency, and this continues to be the case with the new restrictions.

It is important to note however that the new decree only covers domestic rules and does not mention changes to restrictions on international travel. So you do not currently need a ‘super green pass’ at the border.

READ ALSO: How do Italy’s new Covid green pass rules affect tourists?

Do the ‘super green pass’ rules apply to children?

Italy’s current green pass rules do not apply to under-12s and this will remain the case under the new decree.

Italy is currently recommending vaccinations for all those aged over 12 years old and has just approved the administration of vaccines for 5-11 year olds, though it’s not yet known when jabs for younger children will be made available.

There are no plans to extend the green pass requirement to under-12s.

Please note that The Local cannot advise on individual cases. For further details about Italy’s current Covid-19 health measures please see the Italian Health Ministry’s website (available in English).

Member comments

  1. I wonder for kids 12-15 from the UK, that have had only one vaccine, will they be allowed to get on ski lifts with a negative Covid test? If not, this will be a blow for Uk tourists going skiing this winter

  2. We have US CDC certificates which have been accepted everywhere until today. We were denied entry to the
    Mercato Centrale Roma because we did not have a green pass on our phones. Does anyone else have experience with the new green pass rules and an American CDC certificate?

    1. My internet is behaving badly so hopefully, there won’t be duplicate responses to your answer. I tried to use my CDC card in Arezzo at a restaurant that had accepted it before, this time (Dec. 5th) I was turned away but it was accepted at another place. I’ve used it at the Florence mercato without a problem. I believe it’s how well a person is informed as to whether or not you’ll have a problem. I’m going to ask my local health department if there is some way to upload the CDC info to my records here (doubtful). What I am going to do is print the page on the Health Ministry website which references the CDC card as acceptable in place of the Green Pass, and carry it with me. I haven’t had a lot of issues with the CDC card until Arezzo and I’ve traveled back and forth from the US this past month alone. Hotels and other places here accepted it without a problem.

      1. We did explain to the person that we had used our CDC cards successfully at museums and restaurants and he acknowledged that is was a problem only where he was checking. Can you provide the link to the page you will be printing as maybe that would be helpful to carry with us.

        1. https://www.dgc.gov.it/web/faq.html#pvaccinatestero

          This is an FAQ from the Ministry website that gives a lot of info on the Green Pass; under “Vaccinated Abroad” I found the following info. Google translates pages automatically into English but I’m going to print it in Italian. I’ve seen the same info on other pages of the site but this should be useful. Hope this helps

          “Furthermore, without prejudice to the provisions of current legislation on cross-border entry, vaccination certificates issued by the competent national health authorities abroad, following vaccination with vaccines authorized by EMA or equivalent vaccines, are considered as equivalent to the COVID green certification. -19.

          The certifications must contain at least the following contents:

          identification data of the owner (name, surname, date of birth);
          data relating to the vaccine (name and lot);
          date (s) of vaccine administration;
          identification data of the person who issued the certificate (state, health authority).
          Vaccination certificates, in paper and / or digital format, must be drawn up in at least one of the following languages: Italian, English, French, Spanish or German. If the certificate was not issued in one of the five languages ​​indicated, it must be accompanied by a sworn translation.

          The validity of vaccination certificates is the same as for the green COVID-19 certification issued by the Italian State.”

          1. Here’s another blurb from https://www.salute.gov.it/portale/nuovocoronavirus/dettaglioContenutiNuovoCoronavirus.jsp?lingua=italiano&id=5411&area=nuovoCoronavirus&menu=vuoto&tab=4

            “Equivalences Green certifications in Italy
            Certifications issued by the health authorities of Canada, Japan, Israel, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (including Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and British bases on the island of Cyprus) and the United States are equivalent to those of European Union for access to activities and services on the Italian territory such as indoor restaurants, museums, cinemas. They can be presented in paper or digital format, in compliance with the requirements established by the circular of 30 July 2021 .”

          2. Thank you, that is my understanding as well. I will take a copy of show the link if I have an issue again. The person who denied us entry said that as of last Monday things had changed. I tried to persuade him to double check with no luck.

  3. I have a question regarding length of validity of the pass. My understanding from the article is that a green pass used to be valid for 12 months, and now it will be 9. I have other people telling me that starting February, it will be 6. I traveled from the US to Italy in Oct/Nov 2021 without a green pass, but used my CDC card everywhere with no problem. My question is if I were vaccinated and boosted longer than 6 months from my future travel date, does that present a problem for me? For example, my husband was boosted (3rd dose) in October 2021. We want to travel in May of 2022. Because his last dose will by then be 7 months old….will that be a problem. Or is the fact that we’ve had 3 doses, no matter how old they are, ok?

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COVID-19 RULES

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.

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