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

The rules on using Italy's Covid health pass are changing again from April 1st. Here's where you'll need the different types of 'green pass' to access most shops, venues and services in the country.

Here's where you need which type of Covid green pass in Italy from February.
Here's where you now need to show a green pass in Italy. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

Italy is set to relax the use of its Covid-19 health pass after extending it several times since its introduction last August.

As part of the long-awaited decreto riapertura, or ‘reopening decree’, the government has outlined the country’s roadmap, planning an end to the current Covid restrictions by early summer.

The so-called ‘basic green pass’ and the ‘reinforced’ or ‘super’ green pass are still in place, but will gradually be phased out by June.

TIMELINE: Where and when will Italy relax its Covid rules?

Here’s an overview of where you will need which health certificate and when.

Basic green pass

What is it? A basic green pass (green pass base) in Italy is the type of health pass accessible via vaccination, recovery, or a negative test result from a pharmacy carried out in the preceding 72 hours (for PCR tests) or 48 hours (for rapid tests).

That means for those who aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19 or who haven’t recovered from it within the previous six months, a negative test result is required to access certain places and facilities.

Where do you need it? From April 1st, proof of a negative Covid test result – the basic green pass, therefore – will be enough for entry to indoor bars and restaurants. If you’re sitting outside a bar or restaurant, you’ll no longer need any form of health pass at all.

The green pass generated from a negative test will also be accepted in order to access open-air concerts, stadiums, theatre performances or cinema screenings.

Hotels also stop requiring guests to show any kind of pass from April 1st, unless they want to access indoor sports facilities or spas (which will still require a ‘super green pass’ or its equivalent, showing the holder is vaccinated against or recently recovered from Covid).

You’ll need some form of a green pass to access most of public life in Italy. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

You’ll also only need a basic green pass (rather than a ‘super’ green pass as is currently the case) to access long-distance public transport, including planes, ships, ferries and interregional trains from April.

READ ALSO: How to get a coronavirus test in Italy

On local and regional public transport, such as city buses and trams, the green pass requirement will be scrapped altogether from April 1st.

You’ll still need to show a basic green pass to enter school premises until May 1st.

From May though, the number of places where you’ll need to show a basic green pass drops again.

Almost everywhere will no longer have a green pass requirement, including bars and restaurants indoors and long distance and interregional public transport.

Super green pass

What is it? Italy’s so-called ‘reinforced’ or ‘super’ green pass proves the bearer is vaccinated against or has recovered from Covid-19 – it cannot be obtained via a negative test result.

While this was once needed at most cultural and leisure venues across Italy, as well as to access all forms of public transport, this type of health certificate is now being phased out.

Where do you need it? For now, the ‘super’ green pass remains a requirement for indoor venues.

It will be required throughout April for indoor pools, gyms, recreational centres, religious and civil ceremonies and nightclubs.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: How Italy’s Covid green pass rules change for tourists in April

After this date, it will mostly be scrapped along with the basic green pass. The only place you’ll still need a ‘super green pass’ is for visiting friends or relatives in hospitals or care homes – a measure set to stay in place until the end of the year.

The basic green pass will continue to be needed in public and private workplaces until May 1st.

A bar owner shows a valid Green Pass on the VerifyC19 mobile phone application in central Rome on August 6, 2021

Italy’s reinforced green pass is still needed in some venues until early summer. Photo: Andreas SOLARO/AFP

Where you don’t need any type of green pass

The places where you don’t need to show proof of either vaccination, recovery or a negative test result are now growing.

As mentioned above, from April 1st, a green pass will no longer be needed to use local public transport or to access hotels or outdoor dining areas at restaurants.

From the same date, the green pass will no longer be needed to enter museums, shops, hairdressers and local offices (including bank branches and post offices).

Other venues where already no form of green pass is required at all include food shops: supermarkets, grocery stores, fishmongers, butchers or bakeries, shops selling frozen food or drinks, or wholesalers of meat or fish products.

You can also go to open-air markets or shops selling food or animal care products without any health certificate.

Pharmacies and shops that sell medicine, known as parapharmacies, as well as opticians, are also exempt from the requirement.

Filling up at the pump won’t require a health certificate either – both for refuelling at petrol stations and for buying household fuel (such as pellets, paraffin, wood or other products), no green pass is needed.

In the clothing sector, only street vendors are exempt from the green pass requirement.

Visits to the emergency room, hospital or clinic are also exempt from the green pass requirement, though it will be needed for non-emergency visits to healthcare facilities.

Finally, there is no Covid health pass obligation for those who file a complaint in a police station, or who are defendants or witnesses in a civil or criminal trial and must therefore enter a court.

Be aware that some of these rules can vary from one part of Italy to another as regional authorities may introduce stricter requirements of their own.

Find more information about Italy’s Covid-19 health restrictions on the Italian health ministry’s website (available in English).

Member comments

  1. I’m still unclear about the requirements for US citizens who want to visit and are fully vaccinated and boosted. Also, are random tests still being done at the airport? Thanks

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Italy lifts mask mandate for private sector workers

Masks will no longer be required in the workplace but Italian companies will have the right to impose restrictions for employees deemed "at risk".

Italy lifts mask mandate for private sector workers

Representatives from the Italian Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Health and all major national unions collectively signed off on Thursday a new “shared protocol” (protocollo condiviso) for the implementation of anti-Covid measures in private workplaces. 

Although the full text of the bill will only be made available to the public sometime next week, portions of the document have already been released to the media, thus disclosing the government’s next steps in the fight against the virus.

The most relevant update concerns face masks, which will no longer be mandatory in private workplaces. 

However, the text specifies, FFP2 face masks remain “an important protective item aimed at safeguarding workers’ health”. As such, employers will have the right to autonomously impose the use of face coverings on categories of workers considered “at risk”.

READ ALSO: Italy’s transport mask rule extended to September as Covid rate rises

Notably, face coverings may remain mandatory for those working in “indoor settings shared by multiple employees” or even in “outdoor settings where social distancing may not be practicable”. Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions (soggetti fragili) may also be subject to such rules, which, it is worth reminding, are left to the employer’s discretion. 

Alongside mask-related restrictions, employers will also have the right to have their staff undergo temperature checks prior to entering the workplace. In such cases, anyone with a body temperature higher than 37.5C will be denied access to the workplace and will be asked to temporarily self-isolate pending further indications from their own doctor.

In line with previous measures, companies will be required to continue supplying sanitising products free of charge and regulate access to common areas (canteens, smoking areas, etc.) so as to avoid gatherings.

Additionally, employers will be advised to keep incentivising smart working (lavoro agile), as it has proved to be “a valuable tool to curb infection, especially for at-risk individuals”.

Provided that the country’s infection curve registers no significant changes, the updated protocol will remain in place until October 31st, when it will yet again be reviewed by the relevant governmental and social parties. 

With the latest round of measures, Italy has now scrapped all Covid-related health measures, except the requirement to wear face masks on public transport (though not on planes) and in healthcare settings, and self-isolation provisions for those testing positive. 

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

Italy’s infection curve has been rising significantly since the beginning of June. From June 1st to June 14th, Covid’s R (spreading rate) rate rose back over 1 for the first time since April 8th. Also, from June 17th to June 23rd, the virus’s incidence rate was 504 cases every 100,000 residents, up by 62 per cent on the previous week.

According to Claudio Mastroianni, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Sapienza University of Rome, “with 25 per cent of daily Covid swabs coming back positive and a R rate over 1, the infection curve will likely rise at least until mid-July”.

However, albeit acknowledging the rising number of positive cases, Deputy Health Minister Andrea Costa has so far categorically excluded the possibility of re-introducing lapsed Covid measures, saying that it’ll be a “restriction-free summer”.