Just days after France introduced a compulsory health pass to access cultural and leisure venues across the country, Italy is launching a similar scheme by expanding the digital COVID-19 certificate so that it's required for access to cultural, wellness and entertainment venues in Italy.
Vaccine passports are becoming increasingly popular as countries figure out ways for non-essential businesses to continue to safely operate during the pandemic by keeping the virus out. Denmark was the first country in Europe to launch a COVID-19 pass scheme so that fully vaccinated people, as well as those who test negative or have recovered from the virus, could enter places like restaurants, museums and theaters. France followed suit this week with their own health pass—and now it's Italy's turn.
From August 6, people will need to present proof of vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a recent negative test to enter indoor venues like museums, theaters, football stadiums, swimming pools, spas, gyms and theme parks. The 'green pass,' as it is known, is an extension of the EU digital COVID-19 certificate and will also be required to sit indoors at bars and restaurants, the Italian government announced on Thursday.
The introduction of the green pass is meant to encourage vaccine uptake as the Delta strain spreads rapidly across Italy. "The virus’s Delta variant is menacing,” Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi, said at a press conference on Thursday night. "Without vaccinations we must close everything again," he added.The green pass can be presented in either digital or paper format. In Italy it certifies that the holder has had at least one jab of the vaccine (AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson), has tested negative in the previous 48 hours or has recovered from the virus in the last six months.
Tourists who are traveling to Italy from an EU country need to present the EU digital COVID-19 certificate to enter the country, and from August 6 they can use that cert to enter venues under the green pass scheme. If vaccinated, they will need to have completed the vaccine course.
Italy is open to tourists from low-risk countries including the US, Japan and Canada—and travelers coming from those countries are required to show proof of vaccination before traveling with a health document that's compliant with EU and Italian regulations. For Americans, that's the ‘white card’ with the CDC logo. It is likely that those health certs can be used to enter spaces where the green card is required, but full details have yet to be confirmed. Always check the latest government advice before travel.