Green Pass: What is it and When do you need it?

New extensions to the “Super” Green Pass arrive on February 15, the certification being used to fight against the fourth wave of Covid-19 in Italy these the two/three months. Also from the same date, everyone over 50 will require it to be able to go to work.

The new Covid decree (Law Decree, shortened as “DL” below, dated February 4, 2022, no. 5) introduced an important change to the duration of the “Enhanced” Certification. In fact, the DL provides that, from February 7, 2022, for those who have received the third dose and for those who have recovered from Covid after having received a second or third dose, the duration of the Super Green Pass is UNLIMITED. In addition, there will be no restrictions in the Red Zone for those in possession of the super green pass certification.

As a a review of recent changes over the last month or so: on the evening of December 14, the Council of Ministers approved a DL that extended the end of the state of emergency to March 31, 2022, also extending the Super Green Pass in the White Zone to the same date, which otherwise would have ceased its validity on January 15th.

Another holiday decree approved by the Government on December 23 extended the activities for which this “super” certification is required. Among these, the Super Green Pass is needed even if you just go into a coffee shop to drink it at the counter. A further “squeeze” came about on December 29, with a new Decree-law approved by the Council of Ministers containing “Urgent measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic and provisions on health surveillance”, which further extends the application of the Super Green Pass starting from January 10 to make it required for public transport. As you can imagine, it has been hard for us to keep up with these changes with new measures being added or modified almost every week.

For now, until March 31 even in the White Zone, the lowest level of “alert” in the colored label system in use in Italy, access to many social activities requires vaccination or to have recovered from Covid; a simple swab is not enough (with that you just get the “base” certificate). The Super Green Pass and the vaccination campaign in Italy (at almost 80% of the adult population) hopefully will reduce the risk of new variants making headway this coming year.

A circular note from the Ministry of the Interior also provides indications on controls of said certification, strengthened with more agents throughout the entire country.

When do you need the Super Green Pass

The text of DL 172/2021 states that the Super Green Pass will be used for “carrying out activities and using services for which there are limitations in the yellow zone”. The holiday decree extended the obligation introduced by the previous decree.

In short, you need to show the Super Green Pass starting from January 10, 2022 for:

  • museums and exhibitions;
  • all means of transport, public and long-distance, including airplanes and ships;
  • hotels and accommodation facilities;
  • shows;
  • sporting events;
  • indoor dining, including at the counter, with the exclusion of restaurants inside hotels (limited to customers staying there) and work cafeterias and catering services;
  • parties including those after civil or religious ceremonies;
  • discos, dance halls and similar venues;
  • public ceremonies;
  • theme and amusement parks;
  • festivals and fairs;
  • convention centers;
  • outdoor catering services;
  • ski lifts with tourist-commercial purposes even if located in ski areas;
  • swimming pools, swimming centers, team sports and both outdoor and indoor wellness centers;
  • Cultural centers, outdoor and indoor social and recreational centers, excluding educational centers for children;
  • Gaming rooms, betting rooms, bingo halls and casinos;
  • Thermal centers, except for essential levels of assistance and rehabilitation or therapeutic activities.

Starting from February 14th, the Super Green Pass is also required for anyone over 50 to access their workplace.

The Super Green Pass is active for everyone in White, Yellow and Red zones from December 6, 2021 through March 31, 2022. There is no longer any limitation as to activities between the orange and red zones, but some activities are limited to those that can show the Super Green Pass.

Differences between the Super Green Pass and basic Green Pass

Starting January 10, 2022 there are really just a few activities left for which you only need to show the basic Green Pass, which is valid for 48 hours after a negative swab test. These are some of those as determined by the DL:

  • Transfers to / from the smaller islands for health reasons or for school attendance;
  • Taxi and NCC private drivers;
  • Access to workplaces and cafeterias (with the exception of workers for whom vaccination is mandatory);
  • access by students to their university;
  • public competition examinations;

In addition, the DL dated January 7, 2022, n. 1, also extended the requirement of the Base and Super Green Pass starting from January 20 for access to:

  • personal services such as hair dressers, beauty centers, barber shops
  • in person visits to prisoners.

Starting from February 1, the Base and Super Green Pass is also required for:

  • public offices, post offices, banking and financial services, and non-essential commercial activities (more about these below).

Shops and places where you DON’T need a Green Pass

The DL dated January 21, 2021 allows for exemptions for which the Green Pass is needed, essentially for those that cannot be postponed because of necessity:

  • food and basic necessities;
  • health needs, for which access is always allowed for pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices and, in any case, to health and social and health facilities, as well as veterinary ones, for all purposes of prevention, diagnosis and treatment;
  • security needs, for which access to offices open to the public of police forces is allowed, in order to ensure the performance of institutional activities that cannot be postponed, as well as those of prevention and repression of offenses;
  • legal requirements, for which access to judicial offices and to the offices of the social and health services is allowed exclusively for the urgent and urgent presentation of complaints by victims of crimes or requests for judicial interventions to protect minors or disabled, as well as to allow the carrying out of investigative or judicial activities for which the presence of the person summoned is necessary.

Places which don’t require a green pass to access

Customers who visit the following commercial activities do not need request the Green Pass to be allowed entry:

  • Retail stores in specialized and non-specialized food and beverage (supermarkets, food discount stores, mini markets and other various food outlets), excluding in any case on-site consumption.
  • Retail sale of frozen products.
  • Retails stores selling food items for and domestic animals.
  • Retail sale of automotive fuel at gas stations.
  • Stores selling hygienic-sanitary articles.
  • Retail sale of medicines in specialized stores (pharmacies, para-pharmacies and other specialized stores of medicines not subject to medical prescription).
  • Specialized stores selling medical and orthopedic articles.
  • Stores selling eyeglasses and other optometry items.
  • Stores selling fuel for domestic use and for heating.

Starting February 11, masks outdoors are no longer obligatory. We sincerely hope that by the end of this health emergency, set to expire on March 31, 2022, the situation will have improved so much that we will be able to go back to “normal” routine.

About Lourdes Flores

An American living in Florence for over 10 years, Lourdes continues to explore and discover new places in Tuscany with the eyes of a tourist but with the experience of living in Italy. She shares her experiences on this blog and website, particularly offering lots of travel planning help on the Forum!