Learn more about travel to, from and within Italy thanks to the Digital Green Certificate, and what the Green Pass lets you do
Itching to Travel? We are too. It looks like there will be a silver lining in 2021 after all. Stay up-to-date with all the latest news and regulations regarding non-essential travel starting as early as summer 2021.
Over the past few weeks the European Union has been swiftly working to devise a plan to begin re-opening up the bloc for free movement and travel, including tourism, after battling three waves of Covid-19. There is, indeed, a light at the end of the tunnel, but what does all of this mean? How will it affect travel to, from, and within Italy? Will movement actually be free? It’s a bit complicated, but the solution the E.U. is proposing is the rollout of the so-called vaccination passport, referred to as the “Green Pass” or “Digital Green Certificate”. The issue of a Green Pass common amongst all the countries apart of the bloc will allow free border crossing and go live starting as early as July 1.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has stated that the Green Pass is ready to kick-start the resumption of tourism, allowing free E.U. travel, and the system will be in place for one year, that is if the pandemic is over by summer 2022. The pass will be issued to those applicable who either:
- Have received both doses of the Covid-19 Vaccine or have been vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose serum
- Have recovered from Covid-19 in the last 6 months
- Did an antigenic or rapid swab test within the past 48 hours and tested negative
Those who obtain a green pass from another E.U. member state can also use it in Italy, and vice versa. It will be possible to request a certification at facilities where the requester had been hospitalized, been treated by practitioners or pediatricians, or health facilities where the vaccination had been previously performed. The expiration of the certificate will be variable depending on the date of issue to the requested, but once issued, the pass will be valid for 6 months and can be presented either digital, via QR code, or paper copy.
The expiration will be variable depending on a few factors:
- In the case of a vaccination certificate, the green pass is valid for 9 months after the first dosage has been administered
- A certificate of recovery from Covid-19 lasts 6 months from the date of the end of isolation
- The report of the negative swab, molecular or antigenic, is only valid for 48 hours after collection.
In May, Italy announced it was officially opening to all leisure travelers. Quarantine is waived for travelers testing negative coming from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Israel, and Europe. Those wishing to come for leisure must do so on “COVID-tested flights” operated by Delta and Alitalia airlines, to Milan and Rome. Passengers must test negative 48 hours before boarding, again at the airport, and the third and final time upon arrival. Other countries approved to enter for leisure include Canada, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates.
U.S. citizens alone contribute 10% to the E.U.’s GDP and create more than 26 million jobs according to the European Union Tourism Trends report. In Italy alone, tourism & travel makes up 13% of the country’s GDP, nearly half of that coming from U.S. travelers. Since the vaccinations used in America are all European Medicine Agency-approved, according to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, it can therefore allow free movement in travel.
As we sift our way through developing news and details, it is important to keep in mind the E.U. ultimately cannot decide for its member states, but only provide concrete suggestions. The government in each country will make their decisions regarding rules and regulations, restrictions, and free movement. Be sure to check back for more weekly updates and latest news as we quickly head into the summer months.
The Green Pass is necessary for indoor dining and more in Italy
Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi introduced the new COVID-preventive measures by saying “The Green Pass is a necessary condition to keep all economic activities and services open,” in a press conference on July 22.
As of August 6, 2021 (July 23, 2021 in some regions), the Green Pass will be necessary for most indoor social activities:
- indoor dining at restaurants, cafes, bars
- gyms and pools and thermal baths
- indoor cinemas and theatres
- indoor stadiums and arenas
- festivals, sagre, conferences
- indoor cultural centers
To access any of these venues/services, it will be necessary to have had at least one jab of COVID-19 vaccine or to show proof of negative swab test done within 48 hours or to have been affected by COVID in the past 6 months. The only people who are excluded from this requirement are those under 12 years of age (for whom there is no vaccination option yet) and those who have a proven medical condition that prevents them from getting vaccinated.
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