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‘Health pass’: What documents do Americans need for travel to Italy?

Since people from the US have been allowed to travel to Italy quarantine-free with a health certificate, here's a look at exactly what paperwork is now required.

'Health pass': What documents do Americans need for travel to Italy?
(Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP)

Italy has reopened travel to people to from the United States under the same terms as the EU’s ‘green pass’ scheme.

This means US travellers can now enter the country for any reason without needing to quarantine – as long as they can show a ‘health certificate’.

To avoid having to undergo a ten-day quarantine on arrival in Italy, passengers must show proof of being fully vaccinated, having recovered from Covid-19, or testing negative within the 48 hours before arrival in Italy.

EXPLAINED: How has Italy changed its rules on travel from the US and Canada?

These are the rules under the new Europe-wide ‘health pass’ scheme, set up to facilitate quarantine-free travel between European Union member states, which Italy extended this to US arrivals on June 21st.

As Italy released its own version of the EU digital document, the government has chosen to also recognise equivalent health documents from some non-EU countries with high rates of vaccination – and to begin allowing those travellers to enter Italy.

Here’s a look at exactly which documents you’ll need to show when travelling to Italy from the US.

Do I need to obtain an Italian or EU ‘green pass’?

No. The Italian ‘green pass’ document is only being issued to people in Italy.

US travellers instead can use equivalent documents issued in the US, such as their CDC vaccination card, and these will be accepted by Italian authorities.

“Those vaccinated in the USA can prove [their vaccination status] via the ‘white card’ bearing a CDC logo,” states the Italian Embassy in Washington.

You can also use a negative test result certificate, or a medical certificate which proves you have recently had and recovered from Covid-19.

COMPARE: What are the entry rules around Europe for American travellers?

A passenger walks past a picture of a villa in Tuscany at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Virginia. Photo: Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP

What about the expanded ‘green pass’ once I’m in Italy?

From August 6th, Italy’s extended health pass will become mandatory to visit most venues and cultural sites across the country.

The new rules, unveiled on July 22nd, mean that you’re likely to need the certificate during your stay in Italy as the full list includes museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas, sports stadiums, theme parks, indoor swimming pools, spas, and indoor seating areas at bars and restaurants.

The certificazione verde (green certificate) is available to anyone who has been vaccinated in Italy, including those who have only had the first of two doses.

If you’re coming from the US, however, the documentation you used to enter Italy isn’t currently confirmed to be accepted at venues within Italy once the green pass is more widely required.

Travellers who were vaccinated outside the EU do have one clear way to access the Italian health pass: by getting a coronavirus test in Italy, although this is only valid for 48 hours. Find out how to get tested in Italy here, and learn how to download the green pass using your test number here.

There are rumours in the Italian media that a recognition scheme is being discussed, but nothing has been confirmed so far.

Reader question: Can I access Italy’s Covid ‘green pass’ if I was vaccinated in the US?

Do I need to take a coronavirus test to enter Italy?

No. You can use a negative test result certificate for travel, but you don’t need one in addition to a certificate of vaccination or recovery.

The Italian government’s updated rules state that people can now enter Italy quarantine-free from the US by presenting one of the following health documents:

  1. Certificate of vaccination – such as a US CDC-issued vaccination card or EU green certificate. Keep in mind you must be fully vaccinated, meaning you have had your last vaccination 14 days before departure.
  2. OR
    A negative antigen, PCR, or molecular test result from a test taken within 48 hours of arrival in Italy.
  3. OR
    A certificate of Recovery from Covid dated no more than six months before arrival to Italy.

Anyone who cannot show the requested documents may be required to undergo a ten-day quarantine period on arrival, the Italian Foreign Ministry states.

For children: “minors accompanied by a parent/caregiver with one of the above certifications must always take the pre-departure Covid test if they are 6 years old and over; minors under 6 years old are, in any case, exempt from the pre-departure Covid test,” explains the Italian Embassy.

EXPLAINED: What are the Covid-19 testing rules for travelling between the US and Italy?

Are there any other travel requirements?

Before your trip, you should also fill out a European Digital Passenger Locator Form (dPLF), giving details of where you’re departing from and where you’ll be staying. The form is available online here

You should also notify the prevention department of the local health authority in the part of Italy you’ll be staying in within 48 hours of your arrival. Depending on where you’re going, this may involve filling out an online form, sending an email or calling a regional helpline. Find contact details here.

Please note that The Local is unable to advise on individual cases.

For further details of the requirements, see the Italian Foreign Ministry’s website (in English), or contact your airline or the Italian embassy in your country.

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

Member comments

  1. From what I’ve read, and would like confirmation if you have it, is that travel through/a layover in the UK will result in need for quarantine. We have a British Airways flight to Rome in September that has a stopover/plane change at Heathrow. Will that result in a need for quarantine? We are fully vaccinated. Any insight?

    1. Hi,

      As far as we know, anyone who has been in the UK within the previous 14 days (including in transit) would need to quarantine in Italy, and there are no exceptions at the moment if you’ve been vaccinated.

      Here are the full details: https://www.thelocal.it/20210623/italy-new-quarantine-rules-uk-travel/

      We’d advise also checking the requirements with your airline and the ASL (local health authority) in the region of Italy you’ll be staying in.

      Thanks for reading.

      – Clare

  2. are any other documents needed besides the cdc immunization card. For example does one need to have a Digital Passenger Locator Form? What is the appropriate web site to find the form for completion.

    1. Hi David, if you take another look at the article you’ll see the information about the European Digital Passenger Locator Form, including the link.

      Thanks for reading,

      – Clare

  3. Is there a time for expiration of completed vaccine status? If someone completed their two vaccines in January (including the two week post vaccine waiting period, will the CDC card expire in July (6 months after the 2 doses plus 2 week wait)?

  4. Hi,
    Do you need your original CDC card showing vaccination status or would a photocopy suffice? I can’t seem to find that info anywhere — and I am so afraid of losing that valuable card on our travels. Thanks for any answers,
    Linda

  5. I was fully vaccinated in the US with a CDC card though live in Panama. I am a US citizen. Will I be able to travel without quarantine. Everything I read does not make the distinction clear.

  6. Weird that Italy will accept the CDC card but the US itself won’t when you want to go back to the states. Come on Biden. Figure it out already.

  7. Hi Clare
    Canada does not have a national immunization record/passport yet – each province has issued its own official vaccine record with the date and type of vaccine and where issued. Do you have any info on Italy’s acceptance of Canadian vaccine records? What information does Italy require on the vaccine record? It is somewhat confusing when Italy’s government websites refer to what is required as a “green” pass. Thank you.

  8. I know several people who want to go to Italy but cannot find information on the actual process for showing the CDC vaccination card to someone to get into the country. Who has to review it? The airline? Italian authorities at the Italian airport? Various Italian government sites indicate that American traveler need the “green pass”, but there is no information on how an American can get that. Thanks.

  9. Is there any information on what is required if you first arrive in France and then travel to Italy? Thanks

  10. I have similar question to kclarke. Are the rules regarding entry to Italy based of your nationality only, or on which country you’re arriving from. Example. I’m a us citizen traveling first to Germany then, two weeks later, flying from Germany to Italy. Grazie.

  11. I’ll be traveling to France, where they require you to go to a pharmacy and pay 36 euros to convert your US vaccine card (CDC vaccine card) to a vaccine equivalency pass. When I go to Italy after France is this vaccine equivalency pass scannable with the QR readers like any other European green pass? It would be nice to not have to have repeated discussions with people that my CDC card is supposed to be the same as a green pass.

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POLITICS

Italy’s deputy health minister under fire for questioning Covid vaccines

Opposition leaders called for health undersecretary Marcello Gemmato to resign on Tuesday after the official said he was not "for or against" vaccines.

Italy's deputy health minister under fire for questioning Covid vaccines

Gemmato, a trained pharmacist and member of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy party, made the remark during an appearance on the political talkshow ReStart on Rai 2 on Monday evening.

READ ALSO: Covid vaccines halved Italy’s death toll, study finds

In a widely-shared clip, the official criticises the previous government’s approach to the Covid pandemic, claiming that for a large part of the crisis Italy had the highest death rate and third highest ‘lethality’ rate (the proportion of Covid patients who died of the disease).

When journalist Aldo Cazzullo interjects to ask whether the toll would have been higher without vaccines, Gemmato responds: “that’s what you say,” and claimed: “We do not have the reverse burden of proof.”

The undersecretary goes on to say that he won’t “fall into the trap of taking a side for or against vaccines”.

After Gemmato’s comments, the president of Italy’s National Federation of Medical Guilds, Filippo Anelli, stressed that official figures showed the Italian vaccination campaign had already prevented some 150,000 deaths, slashing the country’s potential death toll by almost half.

Vaccines also prevented eight million cases of Covid-19, over 500,000 hospitalisations, and more than 55,000 admissions to intensive care, according to a report from Italy’s national health institute (ISS) in April 2021.

Gemmato’s comments provoked calls for him to step down, including from the head of the centre-left Democratic Party, Enrico Letta.

“A health undersecretary who doesn’t take his distance from no-vaxxers is certainly in the wrong job” wrote the leader of the centrist party Action, Carlo Calenda, on Twitter.

Infectious disease expert Matteo Bassetti of Genoa’s San Martino clinic also expressed shock.

“How is it possible to say that there is no scientific proof that vaccines have helped save the lives of millions of people? You just have to read the scientific literature,” Bassetti tweeted. 

In response to the backlash, Gemmato on Tuesday put out a statement saying he believes “vaccines are precious weapons against Covid” and claiming that his words were taken out of context and misused against him.

The Brothers of Italy party was harshly critical of the previous government’s approach to handling the Covid crisis, accusing the former government of using the pandemic as an excuse to “limit freedom” through its use of the ‘green pass’, a proof of vaccination required to access public spaces. 

But since coming into power, Meloni appears to have significantly softened her stance.

Her appointee for health minister, Orazio Schillaci, is a medical doctor who formed part of the team advising the Draghi administration on its handling of the pandemic.

Schillaci, a former dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at Rome’s Tor Vergata University, has described the former government’s green pass scheme as an “indispensable tool for guaranteeing safety in university classrooms”.

Speaking at a session of the G20 on Tuesday, Meloni referenced the role of vaccines in bringing an end to the Covid pandemic.

“Thanks to the extraordinary work of health personnel, vaccines, prevention, and the accountability of citizens, life has gradually returned to normal,’ the prime minister said in a speech.

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