Italy is the first European country to officially implement a green pass for anyone already vaccinated. Italian authorities began devising such a measure almost a month ago. Now that it is finally in force, we can see what to expect from the EU-wide “certificate” waiting to be launched by the end of June.
The Italian green pass is a crucial measure to relaunch summer tourism. According to the law, it will be granted not only to those who received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine but also to anyone who already recovered or can, before travelling, present a negative PCR test result at least 48 hours old. The pass will let people move freely between orange and red zones and, starting in June, let them attend large gatherings. The pass is supposed to last between six and nine months, beginning fifteen days after the first jab.
For the moment, old rules for extra-EU travellers still apply. Anyone entering Italy will have to present a negative Covid test and undergo a ten-day quarantine. However, as the vaccination rates grow steadily in most countries, EU member reached a preliminary agreement over the possibility of relaxing measures. The Council should also begin drafting a list of virtuous countries to speed up this process. According to Commission spokesperson Christian Wigand, the recommendation is only waiting for formal approval.
All this while we are waiting for the EU version of the pass. Although its Italian counterpart is paper only, for now, the Digital Green Certificate (DGC) will, as the name implies, be stored on mobile devices from the get-go and integrate a QR containing all essential information. Every EU citizen or third-country national legally staying or residing in the EU holding a certificate will be exempted from any restriction in the same way as citizens from the visited Member State.
As summertime approaches peak tourist season in Italy does too, and there is reason to be cautiously optimistic, given the latest trends in the pandemic’s development. Infections rates and cases are declining in all regions, and life is pretty close to going back to normal. To actually do so, we will have to wait for the first tourists pouring in.