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You'll no longer need a 'green pass' to move throughout Italy

May 02, 2022
7 min read
Gondola in the Grand Canal at sunset
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With just weeks to go before we can officially say the summer travel season is underway, Italy joined the list of countries that have greatly relaxed COVID-19 restrictions as the month of May kicks off. The country was among the hardest hit in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, it has spent a good portion of the last couple of years with tight restrictions that have governed not just who can cross its borders, but where they can go.

As of May 1, though, Italy removed the requirement that tourists (and residents) display a "green pass" to get into just about anywhere you would want to go if you were visiting the country.

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Italy
(Photo by Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images)

As TPG reported during visits to Italy last year, the green pass and "super green pass" requirements essentially served as versions of what you might have thought of as "vaccine passports," required for access to everything from restaurants and bars to hotels, museums and even ski lifts. The pass gave leeway to unvaccinated travelers, too, since those who had recovered from COVID-19 could get a pass that would stay valid for a shorter time. Those who had just tested negative for the virus could also get a short-term pass.

This all goes away, essentially, under the new changes. You won’t need a green pass to get into public places once you’re actually in Italy.

The change certainly means easier movement around the country for tourists, just as Italy — along with much of Europe — prepares to welcome international visitors this summer, its biggest wave since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Getting into Italy

You'll still need to upload some documentation to get into the country. However, the entry requirements are pretty flexible to allow for both vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors.

If you’re vaccinated, uploading proof of the shots received within the last nine months is all you need. If you’re not vaccinated, you’ll have to either upload proof of a negative test taken within the last 48 hours, or show documentation that you've recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months.

(Screenshot from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation)

On the official tourism site for Italy, there’s a questionnaire that will help walk you through what documentation you’ll need based on your own vaccination and/or COVID-19 history.

(Screenshot from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation)

Related: Italy is reopening: 11 things I learned as a tourist

Masks

One thing that’s not going away even as Italy loosens its green pass requirements for tourism within the country is masks.

Through at least June 15, Italy’s government is continuing to require face coverings on public transportation, as well as for indoor gathering places like theaters, cinemas, concert halls and indoor sporting events.

Rome. (Photo by Sylvain Sonnet/Getty Images)

Getting to Italy

There’s been plenty said about high prices for travel as we head into the summer — to the point I wrote a story about why you should consider traveling in the fall instead of the summer. However, I was encouraged to find some pretty decent airfares to Italy – if you book right away and plan to travel at the beginning of summer.

Checking Google Flights, one of the cheapest options out of the New York area I found for the entire summer travel season involved a departure on Memorial Day on SAS. For $481 you can get a round trip between Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO). You’ll have a short layover in Copenhagen on the way out. On the way home, you’ll have a one-night stopover there — not long enough to do much sightseeing, but you could grab a quick breakfast in the city before your flight home to Newark.

(Screenshot from Google Flights)

Meanwhile, one of the best options I found out of Los Angeles is actually going to come even before summer gets underway. In fact, start packing if you want to save: You leave two weeks from today. The round trip involves a combination of Star Alliance partners. The outbound trip on United includes a short layover in Chicago, with a brief stop in Montreal on the return trip aboard Air Canada. The round trip goes for $786, which isn't bad considering many of the best fares fall in the $1,000-$1,100 range as May turns to June.

(Screenshot from Google Flights)

If you’re looking to use miles for your trip to Italy, considering how the prices are looking as we get into June, I was fairly satisfied to find a round trip between Newark and Rome for 57,200 MileagePlus miles on United. You’ll also only pay $74 in fees, which is an improvement from what you can often end up paying on plenty of carriers (including United) for transatlantic flights.

(Screenshot from United Airlines)

Where to stay

Many travelers are gearing up to spend points this summer for their overseas trips. I found some great redemptions in Italy for those looking to book hotels.

Checking for the last week of May, around the same time I found some of the best airfares, one of the best redemptions I found in Rome was at the Westin Excelsior. It’s an absolutely beautiful property, with Roman architecture and decor. Also, if you bring your tennis shoes, it's walkable to some of the city’s biggest tourist attractions like the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain.

The Westin Excelsior, Rome. (Photo courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy)

A three-night stay came to a total of $1,855, but you can get the same stay for 177,000 Marriott Bonvoy points — which are worth about $1,416, according to TPG’s latest valuations.

(Screenshot from Marriott Bonvoy)

After the three-night stay in Rome, perhaps it’s time to move on to Florence, reachable by train within a couple of hours.

At the IL Tornabuoni Hotel in Florence, a World of Hyatt property, the nightly rate of 29,000 points (worth about $493, per TPG’s valuations) is a great rate compared to the average $684 cash rate.

(Screenshot from World of Hyatt)

Related: 6 reasons to visit Florence, Italy

Italy's health status

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently places Italy at Level 3 on its Travel Health Notices page. That means the agency considers Italy to have a "high" level of COVID-19 spread. However, Italy is far from alone in that ranking. The CDC also places nearly all of Europe at Level 3, as well as North America, including the United States.

The Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum in Rome. (Photo by Harald Nachtmann/Getty Images)

Bottom line

To get into Italy, you need proof of vaccination, a negative test or recent recovery from COVID-19. Once in the country, masks are still required in crowded indoor public areas. However, you’re now much freer to go where you please without being stopped to show a green pass.

Better yet, as travel ramps up for the summer months, there are still some decent airfare deals and hotel points redemptions out there if you book soon!

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases