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Travel To Italy: The Green Pass Explained

On the heels of Italy reopening its borders to tourism comes a new wrinkle: the requirement of a Digital Green Certificate, more commonly known as the ‘Green Pass.”

As of August 6, 2021 the Green Pass (or its equivalent) is now obligatory in order to participate in a wide range of everyday and cultural activities.  This applies to  Italian citizens and visitors alike.

Read on for a succinct explanation of the Green Pass requirements as well as links to trusted sites, should you wish to deepen your understanding.

What You Need To Know About The Green Pass in Italy


The Green Pass, or Digital Green Certificate, is proof of one of three things.

  • You have been fully vaccinated for Covid-19 (at least 2 weeks prior to travel)
  • You contracted Covid-19 and have fully recovered (within the past 6 months)
  • You have taken a Covid test and the result was negative

In Italy the certificate is issued by the Ministero della Salute (Ministry of Health).

For travelers coming from outside Italy, there is an alternative to the Green Pass.

The Italian Ministry of Health issued an ordinance on July 29, 2021 stating that proof by a competent foreign health authority, such as a “white card” issued by the American CDC, would be considered the equivalent of the Italian Green Pass, provided that the vaccine you received is one recognized by the European Medicines Agency (not an issue when coming from the US or Canada, as all the vaccines administered in those countries are approved by the EMA).

Alternatively, you can provide a negative molecular PCR or rapid antigen test result, or a medical certificate issued by competent authorities confirming recovery from COVID within the previous 6 months.  Certificates are accepted in Italian, English, Spanish or French and can be either digital or a printout.

A word of caution:  Even though the Ministry of Health has decreed that proof from foreign health authorities will be considered equivalent to the Green Pass, don’t expect all restaurants and venues to be up to speed on how to actually identify or accept these other forms, especially outside the major metropolitan areas.  

This article might provide a little perspective on expectations:


That depends.  The validity is different for each of the three categories (vaccinated, recovered from Covid, negative Covid test).  For example, a Covid test with a negative result is valid for only 48 hours.  Travelers are advised to carefully check the validity parameters for each category.


The Green Pass is required in enclosed spaces as well as open spaces that lend themselves to the close assembly of persons.  The beach in summer would fall into the latter category.  

Here’s a more comprehensive list:
  • indoor seated dining at restaurants, cafés, and bars
  • museums, exhibitions, and cultural sites
  • sporting events
  • swimming pools, spas, and gyms
  • concerts, fairs, and festivals (even open-air ones)
  • conferences
  • theme parks and amusement parks 

As of Sept 1 the Green Pass will be required on public transportation in Italy.


Italian Ministry of Health (in English)

US Embassy in Italy

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