Italian hotel bars US actor Malkovich for expired Covid vaccine pass

US actor John Malkovich was turned away from a luxury hotel in Venice last week after failing to present valid proof of Covid-19 vaccination, Italian media reports.

A Venice hotel reportedly turned US actor John Malkovich away due to Italy's rules on proof of vaccination.
A Venice hotel reportedly turned US actor John Malkovich away due to Italy's rules on proof of vaccination. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

Local newspaper Il Gazzettino reported that the theatre and film actor, star of “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Being John Malkovich”, was in Venice for two days of filming for US television series “Ripley”.

Because his vaccination card had expired, Malkovich was denied entry to his luxury suite at the Hotel Danieli overlooking the Grand Canal, the paper wrote.

After failing to produce valid proof of vaccination in order to enter the hotel, Malkovich was instead housed in private lodgings, reads the newspaper report.

Italy’s vaccine pass, also known as the ‘reinforced’ or ‘super green pass’ – or an equivalent document – is now required to access most venues and services in the country.

READ ALSO: At a glance: What Covid-19 rules are now in place in Italy?

Under Italian law, only those who show proof of full vaccination or recovery from Covid can access public spaces like hotels, restaurants, bars and other venues, as well as public transport.

The Hotel Danieli in Venice. Photo: MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

The requirement to show the Covid health pass to access most of Italian public life applies equally to travellers visiting from abroad who don’t have the Italian health certificate.

But in its place, Italy’s government has recognised proof of vaccination with all European Medicines Agency (EMA)-approved Covid vaccines and three additional vaccines as equivalent to Italy’s reinforced green pass since September 23rd.

It doesn’t matter where the vaccine was administered, as long as the person visiting Italy has been immunised by one of the vaccines on the approved list.


Proof of vaccination is currently recognised as valid in Italy for nine months since the date of the last dose – whether that is a second or third shot.

From February 1st, this period will be cut to six months after the last vaccination dose.

While Italian authorities have not explicitly stated that foreign vaccination certificates are valid for the same period in Italy, this appears very likely to be the case, as all similar rules apply equally to anyone in the country. The Local is seeking confirmation.

The Italian government has made many changes to the use of its green pass in recent weeks in a bid to slow down soaring infections in the country, fuelled by the Omicron variant.

After recently issuing several new decrees, the authorities are drawing up another this week which will extend the Covid-19 health pass again to become a requirement for entry to most shops, as well as the places already covered by the rules.

For members


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.