By: Alicia Peacock Writer & Journalist | Specialist Arts & European travel

What is the Covid ‘Super Green’ Pass?

Since 6th December 2021, Italy has been operating a two-tiered Green Pass system. The ‘Super Green’ Pass requires everyone over the age of 12 to present valid proof of vaccination or recent recovery from Covid-19 to access most hospitality venues, public transport and activities. From 1st February 2022 the original Green Pass in Italy, which allows people to provide proof of a negative test taken within the last 48 hours, is also required to access venues like “non-essential” shops, banks and post offices.

New rules in Italy that came into effect on 1st February will also reduce the renewal date of Green Passes from 9 to 6 months for vaccinated and recovering people. However, if you have had a booster dose of the vaccine then your pass will have unlimited validity. These new guidelines are set to remain in place until at least 31st March. 

While this is a relatively straightforward process for Italians who can download an official app, it might seem a bit confusing if you are travelling from the EU or beyond. So, we thought we’d break down exactly what the Covid Digital Certificate is and what the two-tiered  ‘Super Green’  Pass and Green Pass system might mean for you.

Where will a Covid ‘Super Green’ Pass vs. an original Green Pass allow you to go in Italy from 1st February 2022?

Regardless of whether you are travelling from the EU or a country outside like the US, everyone travelling to Italy is required to fill out the EU Digital Passenger Locator Form.

From 1st February 2022, a Covid Green Pass will be required to access “non-essential” shops, public offices, banks, post offices, tobacconists, book stores, newsagents and shopping centres. You will also need an original Green Pass if you are unvaccinated to enter hairdressers, barbers and beauticians. 

The ‘Super Green Pass is required to access events, venues and services like cinemas, theatres, nightclubs, sporting events, stadiums, public ceremonies such as weddings, indoor bars and restaurants, and museums and cultural centres. 

Under the guidelines passed on 10th January, the Super Green Pass will be required to travel on all local and long-distance public transport. This means you will need to provide proof of vaccination or that you have recently recovered from Covid-19, whether you are travelling by bus or metro or by plane or ferry — a negative test alone is no longer sufficient.  

From 15th February, workers over the age of 50 will only be able to access their workplace with a valid Super Green Pass. The rules have not changed for those under 50 however, who can still access workplaces with the original Green Pass. 

You will of course still be able to access essential services in Italy without the need for a green pass. This includes food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, opticians, police stations and places selling fuel and pet food. Non-vaccinated travellers are still welcome in Italy and to stay in our luxury villas. Our villa specialists and award-winning concierge will help you make the most of your holiday with us and can offer guidance on services in Italy that are still available to you. 

However, if you are travelling from countries that are not on the EU “safe list” you may face stricter travel restrictions, including quarantine rules if you are not vaccinated.      

As these guidelines are reviewed we will keep up-to-date travel news in Italy here for you to reference when needed. 

The four-tier system in Italy: What do different colour zones mean for you? 

Italy’s four-tier system classifies each region into a coloured zone depending on how severe the rate of transmission and hospitalisation numbers are in that area. Since November, there have been four zones in Italy: white = safest, yellow = safer, orange = medium risk and red = high risk. 

The ‘Super Green’ Pass will allow you to access venues and services like pubs, restaurants, bakeries and theatres that would otherwise be subject to restrictions and closures in yellow, orange and red zones. This means that, while the original Green Pass is valid for transport, pools, gyms, museums and ski lifts in white zones, it will not be valid in orange or red zones, where a Super Green pass will be required instead.  

Just to make matters ever so slightly more complicated, some ‘Super Green’ Pass regulations will vary slightly depending on which zone in Italy you are in. For example, for ski lifts:

  • White zone: A normal green pass is valid 

  • Orange zone: A ‘super green’ pass is required 

  • Red zone: Closed to all 

For this reason, it is always worth finding out about the up-to-date guidelines in the specific region you are visiting before you travel — something our travel specialists will be happy to assist you with. 

Which vaccines will be accepted as proof of vaccination in Italy?

  1. Comirnaty/ Pfizer-BioNtech     

  2. Spikevax/ Moderna     

  3. Vaxzevria/ Astra-Zenica     

  4. Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) 

Although this won’t necessarily affect foreign travellers, it is also worth noting that teachers, police forces and military personnel in Italy are all obligated to get the vaccine.  

Who can download Italy’s Digital Super Green Pass?

In short, anyone who is fully vaccinated or has recovered from Covid-19 in the last 6 months. The Super Green Pass will be valid for 6 months from issue before it will need updating. 

You can still download the digital Green Pass if you have received at least one dose of the vaccine, tested negative or recovered from Covid in Italy. If you have not been vaccinated or had the virus in the last 6 months, rapid antigen or PCR testing will be required, which our award-winning concierge can arrange for you. 

If you are vaccinated in Italy, you will usually be notified by email or SMS with an AUTHCODE (QR code), which can be downloaded onto your phone within 48 hours. You can download the EU Digital Covid Certificate in English, French, German or Italian here

If for any reason you do not receive your AUTHCODE, you can request one by filling out this online form, using the online regional health system (“Fascicolo Sanitario Elettronico”), or by visiting your GP/pharmacy. 

What does the Super Green Pass mean for all foreign travellers?

You must comply with local travel regulations in the region of Italy you are visiting. Even if you have only just arrived in the country, you will be expected to adhere to the ‘Super Green’ and Green Pass rules.

What does the Green Pass mean for travellers from the EU? 

The Italian Green Pass is effectively the same as the European Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC) which has been in place since July 2021. Many EU countries are also putting similar stricter restrictions in place like Italy’s ‘Super Green’ Pass.

After getting vaccinated or tested in an EU country, you will receive the EU Covid Certificate either upon request or automatically, which is valid in all EU countries and the Schengen area. So, while Italians can download the official “IO” app and upload their Digital Covid Certificate there, if you are from the EU, your own country’s equivalent travel pass will also work.  

This isn’t exclusive to mobile phones either — you can request a paper version as well. Both the digital and printed certificate have a QR code, which can be used to verify their authenticity. 

What does Italy’s Green Pass mean for travellers from non-EU countries?

An EU Digital COVID Certificate is available for non-European travellers from countries that have applied to the European Commission for cross-platform compatibility. There are currently over 40 countries participating in the program whose certificates are also valid in the EU, including Switzerland, Israel, Iceland and Turkey (to name a few). 

Non-EU travellers from Canada, Japan, the UK and the USA can present an equivalent Covid Green Certificate in paper or digital format, issued by their national health authorities. We would recommend carrying a paper certificate with you anyway in case there are any issues with your smartphone. 

Accepted equivalent green passes in Italy include:

  • Israeli Green Pass

  • CDC-approved vaccination cards from the US 

  • Government-issued vaccination certificates from Japan 

  • NHS Pass or certificates from the UK 

If you are travelling from Canada, Israel, Japan or the USA, you can also use proof of your vaccinated status to avoid quarantining in Italy. 

If you are travelling to Italy from the UK…

If you are travelling to Italy from the UK and can provide proof that you are fully vaccinated (as well as a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours or rapid lateral flow taken within the last 24 hours), you will not need to self-isolate on arrival. 

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated will be required to travel directly to their final destination by private transport and self-isolate for 5 days. You will also need to take a further test at the end of the isolation period. If this is something that could affect your holiday in Italy, our concierge is just a phone call away to make the experiences as seamless as possible for you. 

The UK Digital NHS COVID Pass is the equivalent to Italy’s ‘Super Green Pass.’ It allows you to show others that you’ve received a full COVID-19 vaccination cycle when visiting hospitality venues and travelling abroad. You can acquire a digital certification of vaccination via the NHS app and update it with recent lateral flow test results. 

If you have had a booster dose of the vaccine or have recovered from Covid-19 having already received two doses, then your Covid Pass will be valid indefinitely and won’t require updating after 6 months. 

If you are travelling with printed proof of vaccination status, it must date from 1st November to ensure that it can be scanned successfully.

Will a QR code work if it is not from the official Italian app?

If travellers only have a paper copy of vaccination certification or test results and don’t want to, or can’t upload them onto their phones, they can travel with the paper versions. 

QR codes from other EU countries can be read by Italy’s QR readers. They are working with countries like the US and the UK so that QR codes on apps like the NHS Pass can be read to verify your health status. 

What are the rules on wearing masks in Italy?

While countries like the UK have now lifted rules on wearing masks in public places, it is important to remember that this is still a requirement in Italy. Although you no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, there are strict rules on wearing masks indoors for anyone over the age of five. 

If you use public transport or visit theatres, concert halls, cinemas and sports events in Italy before 31st March, you will need an FFP2 grade mask, as a standard face covering will not be accepted. 

Note that...

These restrictions are regularly reviewed as countries are added or removed from the EU “safe” travel list. 

If you are planning a holiday with Tuscany Now & More during 2021 and 2022, read our Responsible Travel Guarantee and our latest travel news for Italy here. Vacations are meant for relaxing, so we are here to make travel during Covid as stress-free as possible. 

For any other questions around Covid and travel in or to Italy, email or call us today at +442076848884 or 1-800-469-4546, and we will help to clarify current regulations and guidance for you. 

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