Green Pass: How to get Italy's digital covid cert and how it works

Italy's vaccine cert is required for indoor dining in restaurants as well as access to sporting and cultural events from 6 August. So how does it work and how do I get it?

Italy's 'Green Pass' certificate, which comes in digital or paper versions, shows that people have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from covid-19.

When it was first introduced in June it was designed to facilitate travel in Europe, allow people to participate in large events, including religious or civil ceremonies such as weddings, and provide visiting access to nursing homes.

Where does the Green Pass apply in Italy?

However, from 6 August, the pass will be required for indoor dining in restaurants and bars as well as being mandatory for access to museums, cinemas, theatres, gyms, swimming pools, amusement parks, spas, wellness centres, festivals, fairs, casinos, bingo halls and sports stadiums. 

The pass, which does not apply to children under the age of 12, will not be necessary for consuming food or drink at tables outdoors or drinking a coffee while standing at the bar.

Neither will it be needed to travel on local public transport or regional train journeys in Italy. 

New government decree

The expanded scope of the Green Pass was announced in late July by premier Mario Draghi as part of a new decree that extends the nation's state of emergency and changes the parameters governing the colour-coded system of covid restrictions, switching the focus from the number of cases to the number of patients hospitalised.

The decision to widen the scope of the Green Pass comes amid a resurgence in covid-19 infections in Italy, fuelled by the Delta variant.

"The Green Pass is essential if we want to keep businesses open," said Draghi, adding that Italy's economy is starting to grow but progress is threatened by the Delta variant.

Reaction in Italy to the Green Pass

There has been a mixed reaction to the Green Pass in Italy, from protests against the measures to surges of bookings for vaccine appointments.

Those in favour say it will incentivise people into getting vaccinated and reduce the spread of covid-19, while those against the vaccine say they are being penalised for choosing not to be vaccinated.

So how do I get Italy's Green Pass?

The Certificazione Verde website lets people in Italy request the Green Pass which, in addition to Italian, is available in English, French and German.

In order to claim the Green Pass it is necessary to provide at least one of the following: vaccination certification, details showing that you have recovered from covid-19, or a recent test with negative results.

Those vaccinated in Italy are notified by email or text message with a scannable QR code giving access to download the Green Pass form onto a PC, tablet or smartphone.

This is issued generally 15 days after the first dose of the vaccine.

The final Green Pass, showing you are fully vaccinated with one of the four covid vaccines recognised in Italy - Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or the single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) - is issued within two days of the second dose.

How long is the Green Pass valid?

For those issued with the Green Pass after being vaccinated the cert is valid for 270 days (about nine months).

For those who received the pass after recovering from covid, it stays valid for 180 days (about 6 months).

For those who test negative after an antigenic or molecular swab it lasts just 48 hours.

Where can I get Italy's Green Pass?

The digital cert can be obtained from the website as well as via the online health system of your region (Fascicolo Sanitario Elettronico); SPID, the digital identity system with access to public administration services; or via the Immuni contact-tracing app.

It is also possible to obtain a paper copy of the certificate by requesting it from your doctor, paeditrician or pharmacy, using your tessera sanitaria health card.

How can I get the Green Pass without a tessera sanitaria health card?

If you do not have a tessera sanitaria, and therefore are not registered with Italy's public health system, you can still obtain the pass via the website by selecting the 'Utente senza tessera sanitaria' option.

Here, enter the details of the type of document you provided when getting your covid test or when the certificate of covid recovery was issued, along with the code you received at the time.

How can I get the Green Pass without the 'AUTHCODE'?

After being vaccinated you should receive a text message or email from the health ministry with the so-called AUTHCODE. If this does not arrive, you can proceed via the public services app IO or on the dgc.gov.it website using your SPID credentials.

If you are not set up with SPID you can contact the call centre tel. 800 91 24 91  (active 24/7). The request will be accepted and the health ministry will issue the authentication code with which to download from Immuni or from the website, without requiring SPID.

How does the Green Pass work for those who travel to Italy from abroad?

Italy's Green Pass was introduced ahead of the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) which allows free travel across the European Union since 1 July.

The Italian version of the Green Pass only applies to people who have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from covid-19 in Italy.

Travellers coming to Italy from within the EU can use the version of the Green Pass issued by their own countries, recognised across the EU.

Italian health authorities will also accept covid vaccination certificates - and medical documents certifying recovery from covid issued within the previous six months - from Canada, Israel, Japan, UK ad US.

Travel from Italy 

The Green Pass website warns that the "certificate is not a travel document," with people advised to check the travel requirements of the country they wish to go by consulting the Viaggiare Sicuri website. Also worth noting, for travel outside Italy the Green Pass is valid from the 15th day after the second dose.

Penalties

The owners and staff of businesses where the Green Pass applies will be tasked with checking to ensure that people are in possession of the certificazione verde.

In the event of a violation, both the owner and the customer could face fines of between €400 and €1,000. If the offence is repeated three times, on three separate days, the business could be shut for up to 10 days.

The pass can also be asked for by police officers and public officials.

Is there a cost for the Green Pass?

No, it is completely free.

Who to contact for Green Pass information

The Certificazione Verde website contains extensive information (in Italian) about how to obtain the Green Pass and how it works but for those who still need assistance, there is a call centre, tel. 800 91 24 91 (open daily 08.00-20.00) and an email address cittadini@dgc.gov.it.

For official information about the covid-19 situation in Italy - in English - see health ministry website. Photo credit: Dmytro Surkov / Shutterstock.com.