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COVID-19 RULES

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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COVID-19 RULES

Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Italian heathcare staff suspended over their refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19 can now return to work, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni confirmed on Monday.

Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Italy become the first country in Europe to make it obligatory for healthcare workers to be vaccinated, ruling in 2021 that they must have the jab or be transferred to other roles or suspended without pay.

That obligation had been set to expire in December, but was brought forward to Tuesday due to “a shortage of medical and health personnel”, Health Minister Orazio Schillaci said.

READ ALSO: Is Italy’s government planning to scrap all Covid measures?

Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, and has since registered nearly 180,000 deaths.

Schillaci first announced the plan to scrap the rule on Friday in a statement saying data showed the virus’ impact on hospitals  “is now limited”.

Those who refuse vaccination will be “reintegrated” into the workforce before the rule expires at the end of this year, as part of what the minister called a “gradual return to normality”.

Meloni said the move, which has been criticised by the centre-left as a win for anti-vax campaigners, would mean some 4,000 healthcare workers can return to work.

This includes some 1,579 doctors and dentists refusing vaccination, according to records at the end of October, representing 0.3 percent of all those registered with Italy’s National Federation of the Orders of Physicians, Surgeons and Dentists (Fnomceo) 

Meloni’s post-fascist Brothers of Italy party railed against the way Mario Draghi’s government handled the pandemic, when it was the main opposition party, and she promised to use her first cabinet meetings to mark a clear break in policies with her predecessor.

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