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

What is the Covid ‘Super Green’ Pass?

From December 6th, a new ‘Super Green’ Pass will come into effect in Italy, which will require everyone over the age of 12 to present valid proof of vaccination or recent recovery from Covid-19 to access most public venues and activities. This new reinforced Green Pass is likely to stay in effect until at least January 15th 2022. 

The original Green Pass in Italy that was introduced from August 6th 2021 also allowed people to provide proof of a negative test taken within the previous 48 hours to access hospitality venues. However, this is no longer an option for many places with the new ‘Super Green’ Pass. 

New rules in Italy will also reduce the renewal date of Green Passes from 12 to 9 months for vaccinated and recovering people, regardless of whether you have received a third booster dose. 

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 ‘Super Green’  Pass might mean for you.

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

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.

The ‘Super Green’ Pass will allow those who are vaccinated or have recently recovered from Covid-19 access to events, venues and services like cinemas, theatres, nightclubs, sporting events, stadiums, public ceremonies such as weddings, and indoor bars and restaurants. 

From September 1st 2021, a Covid Green Pass was also required for long-distance travel by plane, boat, ferry, train and bus journeys across more than two regions. Under the new guidelines, the original Green Pass rules will also apply from December 5th to local public transport. This means you will need to provide proof of vaccination, that you have recently recovered from Covid-19 or provide a negative test result to travel locally by bus, metro or train.  

The original Covid Green Pass based on a negative test result will also still be valid in workplaces, gyms, museums and to access “essential services.” You do not, for example, require a Green Pass to visit the supermarket.

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 

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 from December 15th, teachers, police forces and military personnel in Italy will all be 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 9 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?

While it has not yet been stated that the ‘Super Green’ Pass rules will apply to foreign visitors in Italy, this will likely be the case, since current Green Pass rules apply to everyone. 

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. 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…

From August 31st, travellers from the UK will no longer be required to quarantine for 5 days if they are fully vaccinated and can present a negative PCR (taken no more than 48 hours before entering Italy) or antigen coronavirus test (taken no more than 24 hours before entering Italy). Travellers who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to self-isolate for 5 days on arrival and take a further test at the end of the isolation period.

The NHS COVID Pass allows you to show others that you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine 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 are travelling with printed proof of vaccination status, it must date from November 1st 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. 

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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