In order to move as easily and safely as possible among the measures and procedures now part of the daily life of people living and traveling in Italy, I have laid out a schematic and straightforward way to handle them. 

In Italy a person aged 12 or older can currently be in one of the following positions: without Green Pass, with a basic Green Pass or a Super Green Pass. It is always compulsory to wear a protective mask (FFP2 is often mandatory in certain public or private areas and activities), and to pay attention to sanitation and social distancing.

No Green Pass: it concerns people who don’t have a proof of Covid-19 recovery nor have undertaken Covid-19 vaccination (which is mandatory for certain categories and for Italian citizens aged 50 or older). 

There are no specific restrictions or requirements in order to pursue essential needs, but in many cases proof of a negative antigenic or PCR test may be necessary. Those who are vaccination exempt are in need to hold an appropriate medical certification.

The certification of a negative Covid-19 test can be acquired through a rapid antigenic test or a molecular (PCR) one which is more reliable but whose results can take up to 48 hours. There are many ways you can get tested: drive in sites, private laboratories, ASL (local medical units part of the national health service), hospitals and some pharmacies (only for antigenic tests). If prescribed by a doctor it may be free, otherwise it has to be paid, and in any case a National Health Card and personal tax code has to be shown. PCR is valid 72 hours starting from the sample collection time, while the antigenic one only 48 hours. Once the results are available, you will obtain a

(Basic) Green Pass: as well as through the above mentioned testing procedures, it can be obtained through a proof of Covid-19 recovery status or two vaccine inoculations during the last 6 months. It is the Italian extension of the EU digital Covid-19 certificate and it can be electronic (on your smartphone) or can also be printed in a chemist’s shop by showing your National Health Card. The basic Green Pass holder can do some essential things, such as go to work, enter public areas and offices but cannot eat or drink indoors. The validity in length of this certificate depends upon variable issues as Covid-19 testing and Covid-19 recovery date or when you received the last vaccine inoculation.

Super Green Pass: in case you have a Covid-19 recovery status or you have received the second vaccine inoculation in the last 6 months, the Green Pass is reinforced, or Super. The booster dose (third inoculation) validity is considered extended for an unlimited timeframe until any decision on a possible fourth dose is taken by the Ministry of Health. Provided that you can be asked for a negative Covid-19 test result in specific situations, through this certificate you can attend indoor or outdoor events, eat and drink in public venues, use accommodations, practice sports indoors or outdoors, visit hospices, use any kind of public transport, attend shows indoors or outdoors.

In case a basic Green Pass or Super Green Pass holder is tested positive, the certificate will be suspended until his recovery, to be demonstrated through a negative Covid-19 test certificate. A person tested positive to Covid-19 who has had inoculation of the booster in the last 4 months is not required to quarantine, but it is compulsory to wear a FFP2 mask all the time. If the last inoculation has taken place before 4 months, the mandatory quarantine period lasts 5 days and has to be followed by a negative Covid-19 test certificate.

Let’s try now to clarify certain travellers’ matters (in one way or another).

When Italy is a transit country and the journey is done through private means of transport and the country is left within 36 hours, a traveller has to follow the rules of the country of destination but has to reach the station, seaport or airport of departure with a negative Covid-19 test certificate (PCR taken in the latest 48 hours, antigenic in the latest 24).

Italy, entry rules: people arriving from EU countries need only to present an EU Covid-19 passport. Travellers from all other countries are requested to fill in a Passenger Locator Form and a Covid-19 certificate which proves whether the holder has been vaccinated, recovered or carries a negative Covid-19 test result (they are also subject to health surveillance and to self-isolation for 5 days). Some countries, for example US, Canada and Japan, have agreements with the Italian government which allow easier movement since a proof of Covid-19 recovery is accepted. It is always better to verify before departure how your “Covid Passport” is considered in Italy (it usually depends upon the type of vaccine you got).

If you have the appropriate requirements, you can go to an Asl (local medical units part of the national health service) and ask for the Italian Green Pass, or simply use yours, which has to state the holder’s identification data, details of the vaccine inoculation, in Italian, English, French, Spanish or German  or be officially translated in one of these languages.

It may happen that the test carried out before departure was negative, and upon arrival you test positive. In this case you will be subject to 10-day quarantine in a Covid-hotel at your own expenses.

Leaving Italy: a traveller has to follow the rules in force in the country of destination, and of course requirements related to means of transport (air, bus, boat or train). The Italian government has agreements with some countries that are classified as Covid-free travel corridors, and thanks to a specific travel pass people are exempt from health surveillance obligations if certain requirements are met. In this regard it’s important to check the Italian website (Safe Travelling) in order to get any clarification or update.

As far as moving safely and freely in Italy, the government checks on a daily basis the epidemiological situation in each region, evaluating the quantity of infections and above all the local health systems’ capacity. If one region’s situation becomes problematic, it is ranked as red area. In this case it is advisable to inquire about any restrictions that may be effective. 

All the above is valid until March 31st 2022, date when the State of Emergency is supposed to expire. I put together the information and helped myself with institutional websites and official press agencies as well as government rulings.

They have to be considered in constant evolution as the present time requires so. This is true for the Italian situation, and abroad too.

A constant monitoring of data and applicable rules, even when comprehensive and  verified, is therefore still required and strongly recommended.


Roberto Fustini

Ig @fustinir Fb Roberto Fustini scrittore

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