FOR MEMBERS

Q&A: Your questions answered about Italy’s new Covid health pass

Q&A: Your questions answered about Italy's new Covid health pass
Visitors to the Vatican Museums show their Covid-19 health passports. Photo: Andreas SOLARO / AFP
As Italy introduces its new health passport, many people remain uncertain about how to get the certificate and when to show it. The Local answers some of readers' most common questions about the extended 'green pass'.

Q: What is Italy’s Green Pass?

It’s an official document that certifies one of three things:

  • You were vaccinated in Italy (whether you’ve had both doses or just one).
  • A doctor in Italy confirmed that you fully recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months.
  • You took a rapid antigen or PCR swab test in Italy within the past 48 hours, and it came back negative.

The certificate comes in a standardised format with a QR code, so that it can be quickly scanned and verified.

You can download it from an official government website, www.dgc.gov.it, or ask your doctor or local pharmacy to access it for you. Find full instructions here.

You can either store your pass in digital form, on your smartphone or tablet, or print out a paper copy.

Q: Where will I have to show a health pass in Italy?

From August 6th, many businesses, venues and cultural sites in Italy will be legally required to ask their customers to show a Green Pass before they’re allowed to enter. 

That includes: indoor bars and restaurants, though only if you’re sitting inside; museums; theatres, cinemas and concert venues, including outdoors; gyms; indoor swimming pools; wellness centres and spas; theme parks; conferences and trade fairs; bingo halls and casinos, and more. Find the official list here (in Italian). 

Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

The government has also decided to extend the Green Pass to long-distance trains, domestic flights and interregional buses and ferries – but this requirement will come in later, from September 1st.

Teachers, lecturers, university students and others who work in educational institutions will be required to show their pass when they return for the new term at the end of the summer.

Q: Do children need a Green Pass?

The rules do not apply to any children under 12, who are not eligible for vaccination against Covid-19 in Italy.

No school pupils of any age will have to show a pass to return to class.

For older children (aged 12-18), who are eligible for a shot but the last age group in line, the government will subsidise the cost of private coronavirus tests to help reduce the financial burden.

Q: I don’t live in Italy. Do I need a health pass to visit?

Travellers entering Italy from certain other countries are required to show a health passport in order to avoid quarantine, namely: all countries in the European Union or Schengen Zone; Canada; Israel; Japan; and the United States.

If you’re travelling from one of these countries, your airline and/or border police can ask to see your certificate upon entering Italy.

READ ALSO: Which countries can use a Covid health pass to avoid quarantine in Italy?

People departing from other countries will have to undergo testing and quarantine regardless of whether they’re vaccinated.

Within Italy, the rules requiring a health pass to enter venues and cultural sites apply to everyone, including tourists. That means visitors will need to show a Green Pass or equivalent if they want to visit museums, attend concerts or dine indoors. 

Q: I have a health pass from another EU country. Do I have to get an Italian one too?

No. Certificates of vaccination, testing or recovery issued by any country within the EU or Schengen Zone will be accepted in Italy, even if they look different to the Italian version. 

The only thing that matters is that your certificate has a QR code: these are compatible throughout the bloc, which means that someone in Italy just has to scan the code to authenticate it, exactly the same as they would with an Italian certificate.

Q: I was vaccinated outside Italy or the EU. Do I need an Italian Green Pass?

That depends: if you were vaccinated in Canada, Israel, Japan, the United Kingdom or the United States, you do not need to get any extra documents to use in Italy.

The Italian government has agreed to recognise proof of immunisation issued from any of these five non-EU countries, including on paper. That means you just need to carry whatever official documents you would use at home, such as a CDC-approved vaccination card from the US, a provincial immunisation card from Canada or an NHS vaccination certificate from the UK.

The only condition is that you must have received a vaccine that is recognised for use in Italy and the EU: currently, that’s Pfizer-BioNTech (known in Europe as Comirnaty), Moderna (Spikevax), AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen).

READ ALSO: Can tourists and visitors use Italy’s Covid ‘green pass’ to access museums, concerts and indoor dining?

Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

People who were vaccinated in a different country not listed above – including with one of the same vaccines – will not be able to use their proof of immunisation in Italy. 

In that case, if you plan on going to a venue or event in Italy that requires a health pass, you will need to get tested here (or elsewhere in the EU) in order to claim a certificate that remains valid for 48 hours.

Q: I’m not vaccinated. Can I still get a health pass?

Yes. Remember that medical proof of recent recovery from Covid-19 – issued in Italy, in another EU country, or in Canada, Israel, Japan, the UK or the US – will be accepted for Green Pass purposes throughout Italy.

Alternatively, you can get tested for coronavirus and claim a health pass that way. It will only be valid for 48 hours, though, so you may need to take more than one test.

OPINION: Covid passports are Italy’s only choice – but they must be a right, not a privilege

For everything you need to know about getting a coronavirus test in Italy, see here.

Prices at private laboratories or pharmacies vary from region to region: rapid antigen tests start at €15 but can cost as much as €50, while molecular PCR tests range from around €60-100. You can also get tested for free at pop-up centres run by the Red Cross.

Q: How soon after getting vaccinated in Italy can I get a Green Pass?

Italy is an outlier within the EU in that it issues its health pass after the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, even if you’re still waiting for a second.

You can claim your pass 15 days after getting your first shot, whether it’s the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine or others that require two doses.

EXPLAINED: What people vaccinated in Italy need to do to get the ‘green pass’

That pass will remain valid until you get your second dose (if applicable): in that case, you can claim a new health pass showing you’re fully vaccinated around 48 hours after completing your second shot. 

Bear in mind that most other EU countries only issue their health passes to people who are fully vaccinated, so if you have the Italian version after getting just the first dose, it may not be accepted outside Italy.

Q: I got vaccinated in Italy but never received an ‘authorisation code’. How can I download my certificate?

Thousands of people have found themselves in the same situation since the government launched its Green Pass website back in June, complaining that they never got a text or email with the code required to access their pass online. 

Since then, the government has made it possible to retrieve your authorisation code instantly via its Green Pass website. Find full instructions here.

Q: I don’t have an Italian healthcare card. How can I get a Green Pass?

If you were vaccinated in Italy without a tessera sanitaria, or health card, all you need to download your pass is your codice fiscale and the date you got your most recent shot. Find full instructions here.

If you got tested or recovered from Covid-19 in Italy, you can still access your pass via the official website, but you will need an authorisation code from your test provider or doctor. Find more information here.

EXPLAINED: What happens if I test positive for Covid-19 while visiting Italy?

Photo by PIERRE TEYSSOT / AFP

Q: Can’t I just show the old certificate I got from my vaccination centre/doctor/test provider?

Yes, but only until August 12th.

The European Commission has recommended that during this transition period, you should still be allowed to show your proof of immunisation issued by a vaccination centre in Italy, a medical certificate from your doctor or a print-out of your test results as a health passport – even if it does not contain a QR code.

But after August 12th, you will need to obtain the standardised version (unless you’re from one of the five non-EU countries whose certificates Italy has promised to accept). 

Be aware, however, that individual operators checking certificates in Italy may not be aware of these rules and might insist you show a QR code.

If you’re eligible, it’s advisable to download the QR-enabled version as soon as possible.

Q: Is there a way to check that the QR code on my certificate is valid in Italy?

Yes: download the free government app VerificaC19 and select ‘Avvia scansione’ (‘Start scan’) to check your QR code. If it’s accepted, you’ll see a green tick with the message ‘Certificazione valida‘ (‘Certificate valid’), alongside your name and date of birth.

That’s exactly what businesses and venues scanning your certificate in Italy will see too. They may also ask for a form of ID to cross-check.

Find the latest updates in our health pass news section and further details on the Italian government’s official Green Pass website (currently only available in Italian).


Member comments

  1. I have been stuck trying to get my Green Pass since they were first issued. I am American with a house in Italy, was vaccinated twice in Italy, have Dutch residency and health card. I have my Italian tax number but the web site for the government does not accept or process me as it is not working. You mention logging on and the government says it works, but I have had my local Italian doctor try, my Italian lawyer try, and I have tried. The government web site does not work. I was never sent a code. Total limbo. Government officials say they are trying to fix the glitch but folks in my situation should know it has yet to happen. Today I was told by a government official in charge of Green Passes that in another week I should be able to get a code and be able to download my Green Pass.

    1. Hi Sally,

      We’re sorry to hear you’re having this problem. We’ve heard from a large number of readers who have had similar trouble when trying to access their green passes.

      We’ll continue to report on this issue until it is resolved. If you’re able to share any details about your experience that we could use in a future article, please do feel free to email me at [email protected]

      Best wishes,
      – Clare

  2. I received 2 Astra Zeneca shots in Australia. Recently arrived in Italy on a Covid tested flight from Dubai so no quarantine. But can’t get a Green Pass. I’m an Italian resident, Carta, tessera etc. Can I just get re-vaccinated here & so claim a Green Pass?
    I’ve never recd a reply to any query I’ve posted on The Local🤔😠

    1. Hi Sandra,

      Please find our latest articles about accessing the green pass here: https://www.thelocal.it/tag/covid-health-pass/

      We’re sorry that we’re not always able to give a personal response to every question we get – this is due to the fact that we’re a small team and we receive dozens of queries every day. We are also unfortunately unable to give advice about individual cases, and we can only recommend checking this with your doctor in Italy.

      Best wishes,
      – Clare

  3. Help! I have received two CV-19 Pfizer vaccines here in Siena, Italy and am unable to access my green pass with only my codice fiscale and temporary STP (straniero temporaneamente presente). Can you please advise me if it is possible to access the green pass with only these two sources of documentation? My STP card ID numbers are not accepted on the green pass government website. I know I’m not the only one with this STP card problem.TIA.

  4. Hello, my husband and I have received the Pfizer vaccine (2 doses) If I understood your article correctly, it will not be recognised in Italy..? We are due to fly there with an exemption in Nov.

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.