EU travel green pass ‘ready by mid-June’, says Italy’s PM

The European "green pass" for travel and events will be ready by the middle of next month, said Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi at a press conference on Tuesday.

EU travel green pass 'ready by mid-June', says Italy's PM
Photo: Filiippo Monteforte/AFP

Following a meeting with the European Union council, Draghi told reporters the so-called “green pass”, a health certificate that allows travel without quarantine, “will be ready by mid-June” – sooner than indicated by other EU officials.

Draghi’s comments came after the European Parliament and the 27 member states reached an agreement last week on the EU Digital Covid Certificate.

The Italian prime minister gave an earlier release date compared to the EU Commission’s announcement, which estimated the certificate is “well on track to be ready end of June, as planned”.

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on how the EU’s ‘Covid passports’ will work for travellers?

Meanwhile Italy’s Minister for Technological Innovation, Vittorio Colao, told a tech forum earlier this week that several technical details of Italy’s digital certificate were still being worked out.

He estimated that “we’ll be ready around mid-June and it will start from July 1st”.

“European citizens are looking forward to travelling again,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The agreement “means they will be able to do so safely very soon,” she added.

The digital health certificate is intended to make travel easier and boost economies dependent on tourism.

Italy’s tourism sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, suffering a staggering loss of more than €120 billion last year compared to 2019.

Draghi said that Italy’s vaccination rollout, which is finally picking up speed, is also aiding plans to reopen the country. “There has been some satisfaction with the way vaccinations are proceeding everywhere and the campaign should accelerate into the summer,” he said.

READ ALSO: What is Italy’s ‘green pass’ for travel and how do you get it?

Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP

The proposed health document will come in both digital and paper form and will show that a person has either been fully vaccinated, recently recovered from the virus (meaning a person has antibodies in their system) or has recently tested negative for Covid.

“The EU Digital Covid Certificate is free of charge, secure and accessible to all. It will cover vaccination, test and recovery offering different options to citizens,” said von der Leyen.

“All EU citizens have a fundamental right to free movement in the EU. The EU Digital Covid Certificate, available in paper or digital format, will make it easier for Europeans to travel – whether to see their families and loved ones or to get some well-deserved rest,” she added.

The Local has contacted the EU Commission to find out how the “green pass” will work in practice. The EU doesn’t plan to create an app and each country will enforce their own regulations surrounding its implementation.

“National wallet apps could be developed, but are not the only option. Integration in existing tracing or other apps, commercial solutions, digital storage of PDFs and of course paper certificates are also possible,” the Commission told us.


Italy’s certificazione verde (green pass) was first introduced to allow people in Italy to travel between regions or to travel abroad and return to the country without quarantining.

It’s also expected that those going to weddings and other events involving gatherings will need to get their hands on this health certificate to be able to attend.

For now, a digital version in Italy is not available. Other countries are further ahead in developing their “Covid passports”, but there’s help on hand if Italy needs it.

“To facilitate the work at national level, the Commission has provided a reference app to support Member States to develop their national solution to scan and check the QR codes, a template software for Member States to issue EU Digital COVID Certificate and a reference wallet app for governments to offer to citizens to store EU Digital Covid Certificate,” a spokesperson said.

If you’re coming from outside the European Union though, for now, you will still need to follow quarantine and testing rules, which vary depending on the country you are travelling from.

For more information on the current restrictions and health situation in Italy please see the Health Ministry’s website (in English).

Member comments

  1. The lack of clarity is creating real problems. I am a vaccinated American with a flight arriving in Venice on June 26. Will I be allowed to enter without quarantining? If Italy reopens to non-EU vaccinated visitors in mid-June, I am okay. But does the latest news mean the travel pass won’t be available until July 1? If Italy wants to welcome tourists this summer, we need to know the specific date when international travel will be permitted.

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EXPLAINED: Has Italy still got any Covid rules in place?

Italy is blissfully free of Covid restrictions this summer - or is it? Here's what you need to know about the country's few remaining rules.

EXPLAINED: Has Italy still got any Covid rules in place?

If you thought Italy’s Covid rules ought to have more or less expired by now, you’d be right – almost. 

There are essentially no travel restrictions, no vaccination or testing obligations, and very few situations in which people are required to mask up.

However, a few nationwide health rules do remain in place that are worth knowing about.

Here’s what they are.


One notable exception to Italy’s Covid rule relaxations is the continued requirement to wear a mask in parts of health and residential care facilities that house vulnerable or immunosuppressed patients.

This rule had been due to expire on April 30th, but was renewed by decree on April 29th and will remain in place until the end of the year.

READ ALSO: What to expect when travelling to Italy in summer 2023

That means if you work in such a facility or need to visit a friend or family member there, you should come equipped with a mask.

Under-6’s, people whose disability prevents them from wearing a mask, and carers for whom wearing a mask would prevent them from communicating with a disabled patient are the only exceptions.


Then there are the quarantine rules.

‘Italy still has quarantine rules?!’ you ask incredulously.

According to former health director Giovanni Rezza, who retired this May, the answer is yes.

It was Rezza who signed off on a health ministry decree dated December 31st, 2022 that established the country’s latest quarantine restrictions.

Tourists visiting Italy no longer face Covid-related restrictions, though rules may apply in some circumstances. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

That decree says that those who test positive but are asymptomatic must self-isolate for five days, or until they test negative at a pharmacy or health facility – whichever happens sooner.

Those who do experience symptoms should either test negative before exiting quarantine, or wait until they are symptomless for at least two days.

At the end of the isolation period, those who have left quarantine without taking a test are required to wear a high-grade FFP2 mask in public until the tenth day since the onset of symptoms or first positive test result.

READ ALSO: What are the upcoming strikes in Italy and how could they impact you?

People who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid should wear an FFP2 mask in public until the fifth day since the last point of contact.

Earlier this month, Rezza told journalists at the national broadcaster Rai that since no expiration date was stipulated, the decree remains in force indefinitely.

The health ministry doesn’t appear to have weighed in on the matter, so for now it should be assumed that the quarantine rules are still active.

Of course, this all relies on the honour system, as most Covid tests these days are taken (if at all) in people’s own homes without the knowledge or involvement of state health authorities.


Finally, there have been some recent reports of new international travel restrictions specifically relating to China.

There has been talk of Italy’s airports reintroducing tests for arrivals from China. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP.

Towards the end of May, newspapers La Stampa and La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno reported that Covid tests had been reintroduced at Italy’s airports for arrivals from China, which has seen an uptick in cases.

However, neither the health ministry website nor the Foreign Ministry’s Viaggiare Sicuri (‘Travel Safe’) website appear to have published any updates to this effect.

In December 2022, Italy’s health ministry mandated that all arrivals from China must produce a recent negative test result before leaving for Italy and to take a test on arrival, though this rule was due to expire at the end of January.