Reader question: Do I need a Covid green pass for my trip to Italy?

If you're planning to travel to Italy soon, make sure you know the rules on using Covid-19 health certificates in the country.

Reader question: Do I need a Covid green pass for my trip to Italy?
Italy’s Covid green pass system has been in place since August 2021. As the rules have changed again April, here's what you need to know about using it now. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Question: ‘I’m travelling to Italy in April and I’m fully vaccinated. I’ve read that I’ll need to show an Italian ‘green pass’ for entry to restaurants and other venues. How do I get one?’

Italy has eased some of its coronavirus containment measures as of April 1st, but its health certificate, known as the ‘green pass’, is still a requirement at many venues.

As travel restarts this spring, The Local has received dozens of questions like the one above from people planning to visit Italy from abroad, with confusion arising amid a series of rule changes by the Italian government over the past few months.

The good news for visitors is that you probably will not need to obtain an Italian green pass.

If you’re vaccinated, Italy recognises proof of vaccination issued anywhere in the world on par with its own ‘super’ green pass, so the vaccination certificate issued in your home country (such as a US CDC card) should get you into any venue in Italy that is subject to this requirement.

People who were vaccinated in the EU or UK will have received a QR code that can be easily scanned and checked just like an Italian green pass.

READ ALSO: How Italy’s Covid rules change in April

Those with a paper vaccination or recovery certificate without a QR code simply need to show their certificate to the person conducting the checks. You do not need a QR code for your certificate to be recognised.

Make sure however that your vaccination certificate will be seen as valid under Italian rules.

If you have been fully vaccinated and boosted, your proof of vaccination has indefinite validity as a ‘super green pass’ equivalent in Italy. If you haven’t had a booster dose but have completed the primary vaccination cycle, your certificate is valid for six months since the last dose.

You can find more detailed information about how the green pass rules work for vaccinated visitors to Italy here

If you have proof of recovery from Covid-19, you can also use this on the same terms as an Italian ‘super’ green pass. This must be a recovery certificate issued by a medical authority (evidence of a negative test result, for example, doesn’t count) and it will be seen as valid for six months since the date of infection.

If you have neither proof of vaccination nor recovery, you’ll need to show proof of a negative test result instead. This is where you would need to get an Italian green pass.

Many venues will now allow you to enter with just proof of a negative test result, known as a ‘basic’ green pass. This is a QR code issued based on a negative result after being tested at a registered facility, such as a pharmacy or clinic.

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

Visitors enjoy an outdoor lunch in Rome's Campo dei Fiori.

Visitors enjoy an outdoor lunch in Rome’s Campo dei Fiori. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

The pass will be valid for 48 hours from the time the test was carried out in the case of a rapid test, or 72 hours in the case of a PCR test.

This means that if you’re in Italy for a longer visit you will need to be tested repeatedly to retain access to a valid pass.

You can find more details about getting a Covid test as a visitor to Italy here.

Where and when do Italy’s green pass rules apply?

For several months now, Italy’s ‘reinforced’ or ‘super’ green pass health certificate or an equivalent, showing that the holder is vaccinated against or recently recovered from Covid, has been required to access most venues and services across the country.

After the most recent rule change on April 1st, these requirements have been loosened.

Hotels and public transport are no longer subject to any green pass requirements. 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.

Some spaces require only the ‘basic green pass’, which can be easily obtained via a negative Covid test result from a pharmacy for those without a vaccination or recovery certificate (see above).

The rules apply to everyone in the country aged over 12.

Italy’s green pass rules are expected to be eased further in May, and could be scrapped entirely by mid-June.

See full details of the green pass system and requirements by venue here.

At the border

For entry to Italy, you again do not need a ‘green pass’ specifically, but must show valid proof of vaccination, recovery OR a recent negative test result under the current travel rules, in place until at least April 30th.

As Italy has outsourced the enforcement of these rules to airlines and other transport operators, this documentation will be required when boarding your flight to Italy.

If you’re travelling by road or rail, there may instead be police checks at the border. 

For more information:

See the latest news from The Local about travel to Italy here.

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

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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”.