Italian hotel bars US actor Malkovich for expired Covid vaccine pass

US actor John Malkovich was turned away from a luxury hotel in Venice last week after failing to present valid proof of Covid-19 vaccination, Italian media reports.

A Venice hotel reportedly turned US actor John Malkovich away due to Italy's rules on proof of vaccination.
A Venice hotel reportedly turned US actor John Malkovich away due to Italy's rules on proof of vaccination. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

Local newspaper Il Gazzettino reported that the theatre and film actor, star of “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Being John Malkovich”, was in Venice for two days of filming for US television series “Ripley”.

Because his vaccination card had expired, Malkovich was denied entry to his luxury suite at the Hotel Danieli overlooking the Grand Canal, the paper wrote.

After failing to produce valid proof of vaccination in order to enter the hotel, Malkovich was instead housed in private lodgings, reads the newspaper report.

Italy’s vaccine pass, also known as the ‘reinforced’ or ‘super green pass’ – or an equivalent document – is now required to access most venues and services in the country.

READ ALSO: At a glance: What Covid-19 rules are now in place in Italy?

Under Italian law, only those who show proof of full vaccination or recovery from Covid can access public spaces like hotels, restaurants, bars and other venues, as well as public transport.

The Hotel Danieli in Venice. Photo: MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

The requirement to show the Covid health pass to access most of Italian public life applies equally to travellers visiting from abroad who don’t have the Italian health certificate.

But in its place, Italy’s government has recognised proof of vaccination with all European Medicines Agency (EMA)-approved Covid vaccines and three additional vaccines as equivalent to Italy’s reinforced green pass since September 23rd.

It doesn’t matter where the vaccine was administered, as long as the person visiting Italy has been immunised by one of the vaccines on the approved list.


Proof of vaccination is currently recognised as valid in Italy for nine months since the date of the last dose – whether that is a second or third shot.

From February 1st, this period will be cut to six months after the last vaccination dose.

While Italian authorities have not explicitly stated that foreign vaccination certificates are valid for the same period in Italy, this appears very likely to be the case, as all similar rules apply equally to anyone in the country. The Local is seeking confirmation.

The Italian government has made many changes to the use of its green pass in recent weeks in a bid to slow down soaring infections in the country, fuelled by the Omicron variant.

After recently issuing several new decrees, the authorities are drawing up another this week which will extend the Covid-19 health pass again to become a requirement for entry to most shops, as well as the places already covered by the rules.


‘Not offensive’: Italian minister defends Covid testing rule for China arrivals

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani defended the policy of testing all arrivals from China for Covid-19 after Beijing said the policy "lacks scientific basis".

'Not offensive': Italian minister defends Covid testing rule for China arrivals

“It seems perfectly normal to me,” Tajani told Italian state broadcaster Rai on Tuesday. “Having a test is a way to protect people’s health. There is nothing offensive about it.”

“Lots of Chinese and Italians coming from China do it (anyway),” he claimed.

READ ALSO: Is the EU likely to reinstate Covid travel restrictions?

Italy was the first European country to make testing on arrival a requirement for passengers arriving on flights from China last week, after a surge in the infection rate there.

Italian Health Minister Orazio Schillaci said on Wednesday that the screening requirement was “essential to ensure the surveillance and identification of any variants of the virus in order to protect the Italian population”.

READ ALSO: Italy pushes for EU-wide China Covid measures as tests show no new variants

France and Spain have since introduced similar rules (as well as non-EU countries including the UK and USA) and there is now a meeting scheduled for Wednesday of the EU Integrated Policy Response Capability to discuss coordinating measures.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said the screening policy would be “ineffective” if not done on a European level, as only people arriving on direct flights from China were being tested in Italy, not those with stopovers.

But the Chinese government on Tuesday hit out at countries introducing a policy of mandatory testing for people arriving from China.

“Some countries have taken entry restrictions targeting only Chinese travellers,” foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning was quoted as saying at a briefing by AFP.

“This lacks scientific basis and some practices are unacceptable”.

She said Beijing may “take countermeasures based on the principle of reciprocity”.