Today I saw the Green Pass checks in action.

For those of you who don’t know, the EU Green Pass is a document showing that an EU resident has been vaccinated. It’s a document that can be printed out and carried around, or accessed or stored via one’s smartphone. And it is now being implemented here in Italy to access indoor dining, cinemas, gyms, museums, and more. Technically, the law started the 6th of August, but today is the first day I’ve seen evidence that this document is being required.
We were at our favorite all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant. All outdoor tables were already spoken for. No surprise since this is the only option for unvaccinated people without a Green Pass. But inside was hopping and the staff was vigilant in scanning the documents before allowing entry. I witnessed some people being turned away either because either they weren’t vaccinated or because they hadn’t downloaded the app (which works amazingly well and which keeps record of vaccination status and provides a QR code for scanning and checking).
A quick Green Pass scan checks validity.

Penalties for Green Pass non-compliance or trying to game the system are stiff. 

“Failing to follow the rules can earn both customers and businesses a fine of between €400 and €1,000, while businesses that are found to repeatedly fail to check customers’ health passes risk being forced to close for up to ten days.”

—, August 10, 2021 (read the full article here)


“Nah, Italy won’t follow through.”

Wrong! But Italy’s often inconsistent application and enforcement of previous Covid rules and mandates have earned this response. Maybe the Green Pass will be yet another one of those things where some regions just don’t get on board, or do so slowly. But, it does seem to be happening and, from where I sit, I see more visible enthusiasm and relief for finally having such a strategy. That’s why I think the Japanese restaurant was packed today—more than usual. Personally, I felt more at ease seeing that the management was being vigilant. I see this practice as the best of both worlds in that it puts protective measures in place and allows businesses to stay open and find their legs again.

Green Pass scammers and profiteers already are hard at work.

Grrrr. There’s big business going on with people selling and buying the Green Pass QR codes. And their opportunistic efforts are founded on the fact that while managements at restaurants, theaters, etc. are indeed checking the validity of Green Passes being presented, they are NOT allowed to ask for a confirming identity document.

“Thousands of users were registered on well-known communication platforms where fake green passes were offered for sale, with an absolute guarantee of anonymity, to be paid in cryptocurrency or vouchers for online shopping platforms, at a price between 150 and 500 euro ($175 to $590),” Italy’s postal police (Polizia Postale e delle Comunicazioni) said in a statement.

Italian police break up online network selling fake Covid ‘green passes’ — (read the full article here)

Only the police can make spot checks to make sure people are on the up-and-up. So, I hope enough random checks will be happening to squelch this kind of dangerous thing from proliferating.

Some foreigners’ travel plans here in Italia have been spoiled because they didn’t take the new requirements seriously.

“At the Vatican Museums, a number of tourists were turned away despite having pre-booked tickets after failing to provide proof of a Covid-19 vaccine, previous infection or a negative coronavirus test in the form of a health pass, as is now required under the new measures.

‘We were looking forward to it, so we are kind of disappointed. But it is what it is,’ said Tereza Poganyova, 20, on holiday with a friend from the Czech Republic.

However, she admitted having received an email reminding her of the new requirement, and most of the visitors lining up to see the Sistine Chapel on Friday morning were prepared.”

—the (read more here)

What if you’re not an EU resident?

Best to check with the Italian officials to be prepared. My understanding is that an official document from one’s home country attesting to vaccination or recent recovery status OR a Covid test performed in the last 48 hours should suffice.

France was the first to implement these stricter Green Pass measures.

And Italy joined in. Now vaccination rates, especially amongst young people, have been ticking up. To me, it makes complete sense. Young people want to be able to get out and socialize!

The Green Pass has its detractors, for sure, but their voices don’t seem to be dominating the news.

Covid Green Pass soon will be require for public transport and air travel.

More Green Pass Restrictions coming.

Yep, starting September 1, a Green Pass or equivalent attesting document will be required for accessing Italian public transportation and air travel. When this happens and as the authorities tighten their grip on implementation and compliance, I expect to see a renewed wave of protests.

Our Covid number haven’t spiked as in other places across the pond. I’m hoping that’s because Italy’s and Europe’s vaccination rates have been clipping along at a steady rate, enabling us to keep Covid at a low and manageable simmer.

At the moment, we’re in the midst of the big vacation season (Ferragosto is just days away) and it’s nice to see lively energy returning to Italy. I for one am happy to see the Green Pass being utilized to help us steer towards a life with greater normalcy.