Italy requires a “green pass” to visit museums and dine inside

Known as the “Green Pass,” the Bel Paese is a certificate that proves travelers have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine to enter the country’s most popular tourist destinations.

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Pompei archaeological park offers free swab tests, the vatican museums have issued refund instructions, and tourists took out smartphones to view QR codes as well as entrance tickets on Friday when a new rule of COVID-19 certification went into effect in Italy as part of the government’s plan to curb a summer spike in infections.

A so-called Green Pass is now required to access archaeological sites, gymnasiums, theaters, indoor pools and indoor sections of restaurants, bars and cafes. To obtain a certificate, individuals must prove that they have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine approved for use in the European Union, recovered from COVID-19 within the past six months, or have negative laboratory results of a test carried out within the previous 48 hours.

The government announced the rule on July 22. Some 50 million of Italy’s 60 million inhabitants had downloaded the certification by the end of July.

Vaccination certificates issued by the United States, Canada, Japan and Israel will be accepted for tourists from these countries.

Along the sidewalk flanking the walls of Vatican City, visitors to the Vatican Museums, one of the world’s most popular attractions, prepared to show their cell phones with their QR certificates to staff members at the Entrance. The line moved briskly.

Visitors from France found the new Italian system familiar. Their country has already introduced even stricter entry requirements than Italy’s since they also apply to al fresco dining.

“It’s good for everyone’s safety. It is also positive for the economy, ”said French tourist Alexine Prenignac.

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While many find it convenient to flash their Green Pass on a phone, paper certification is acceptable in Italy. The Vatican Museums website warned visitors to have ID on hand so staff can “verify beneficial ownership” of the Green Pass. For anyone unwilling or unable to comply, the website offered instructions on how to request a refund for a ticket.

The Colosseum in Rome is one of the attractions requiring a new vaccination passport.

In Pompeii, one of Italy’s most visited tourist sites, authorities have partnered with the city of Naples to offer coronavirus testing during the opening hours of the vast park showcasing the ruins of the ancient city. For now, the tests are given on an experimental basis, free of charge.

During a global emergency such as the pandemic, “it is the task of those who manage a cultural site to best reconcile the needs of health and public safety with our mission to be an inclusive place, accessible to all”, said the general manager of Pompeii. , Gabriel Zuchtriege.

Business owners have quickly incorporated change into their customers’ routines. Fabrizio De Falco, owner of a cafe near St. Peter’s Basilica with both an outdoor terrace and indoor tables, also saw it as a necessary adjustment during the pandemic.

“It’s one more duty. It’s an extra workload, but it’s worth it if it gets us out of this situation, ”said De Falco.

The Green Pass rule applies to people 12 years of age or older, as children under that age are not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Italy.

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Much of the leisure life in Italy during the warmer months is spent outdoors. Gyms, cinemas and theaters frequently close in August, as staff and guests opt for vacations during the month. With air conditioning still a relatively new phenomenon for many businesses, alfresco dining in trattorias and cafes is a summer tradition in much of the country.

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