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Italy travel experience

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi,
Just got back from a trip to Italy as it’s getting to the ski time of year I thought it, might be worthwhile sharing my experience and starting a thread for Italy travel.

Key items learnt from late Sept trip, Italian rules are due to be reviewed late October, am going again around then so will update if anything changes. This trip was Heathrow to Palermo, Sicily.

You can download the Italian green pass app to check your QR codes etc (different to other countries) it’s called verificac19

Following recommendations on snowheads we used c19testing.co.uk for the predeparture lateral flow tests, it worked really well. This is where you do the test yourself, take a photo and fill in an online form. Turnaround time for certificate was <12 hrs both times.

We flew BA, on the way out we had to upload the proof of recent test and vaccination beforehand and then these were checked and we received a confirmation email. We also took hard copies but on the way out were never asked for these. Check-in and boarding was the same as pre-covid as was arrival in Italy. We did need to fill in some additional paperwork during the flight with next address etc.

Entering Italy was easy, they use a different passenger locator form to the other ski countries. You can fill this in way beforehand then change and resubmit just before you leave which made life easier.

As per other countries the QR code needed is only that for the second vaccine jab from the NHS travel pass. We printed out just this QR code put the two back to back and laminated so we had a card a bit bigger than a credit card with one QR code on each side, this worked really well but if you do this include the date part as one place needed this when the app didn’t work. Note the gloss laminating sometimes caused an issue re reflections so matt would have been even better. EDIT the reason we did this is that for apple you cannot add the travel pass to your "wallet", it's a page with two QR codes and some blurb.

Green pass was needed for almost all indoor activities e.g. eating, museums and also for visiting some outdoor attractions e.g. temple ruins. it WAS NOT NEEDED FOR THE TWO GONDOLAS WE USED Eh oh! .

All indoor spaces and public transport required masks. Everyone uses them and it was de-rigeur to walk around with them looped above your elbow. If you accidentally went in a shop without yours on they reminded you pretty quickly.

The UK PLF is a PITA and wouldn’t recognise any QR codes. I was glad we registered before we left as this makes filing in form on the phone easier, so recommend creating an account before you leave. We were in a hotel for the night before the flight so following advice elsewhere on snowheads we had them print out the completed PLF and test certificate. The lady checking us in was very happy to see these as it is much easier than messing about with copies on phones, took her less than a minute to check whereas others were taking ages. If we had to do electronically I’d use a tablet if you have one with you. Note she manually checked and didn’t scan any QR codes. Check in queues for the return flight were long because of this.

On our travels there were a few covid testing centres in town centres and we evidently could have obtained a free test.

We weren’t asked for any covid documentation on entering the UK. Queues were long at Heathrow but moved steadily and almost all the automatic passport gates were in use (shock !) so maybe 15-20 minutes to get through passport control (then another 45 mins waiting for baggage)
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Thanks for the name of the Verifac19 app. I had been trying to find the right one recently, but ended up with their track and trace.

Quick question regarding the Covid QR codes, which someone may be able to answer from experience in the next few weeks.
I am booked in for a booster. Presumably, the QR code for the latest vaccine would be the most acceptable?
or should I have both with me?
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Thanks for this. I’m not going to Italy, but it has thrown up a thought on my mind. I will be going through Italy on my way to Montgenevre. This will either be on a train from Paris to Oulx then a cab from Oulx ro Montgenevre.

Presumably I’ll have my vaccination and test results viewed at St Pancras for entry into France, but it makes me wonder if I need to do anything extra for the bit going into Italy (on the train) or back into France in a cab?!

If the train isn’t doable then I’ll reluctantly have to fly to Turin then get a transfer to Montgenevre. The entry requirements to Italy would be done in the U.K. by the airline staff presumably, and may differ to that needed for France where I am actually going. What a headache.

Or am I overthinking it? Is it likely that Covid checks between schengen countries will either be streamlined or just ignored in cases such as mine?
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@Timmycb5, we drove from Munich to Tuscany and back over the summer, no checks anywhere. I have heard about the odd place where there have been some checks (coming into Austria from Slovenia but that was during the summer peak with concerns about folk partying in Croatia) though suspect that has now stopped. What you might find is getting onto public transport there are checks that you have been vaccinated etc though the regulations on this vary from country to country. For entry requirements when entering Schengen, generally if you are fully vaccinated that is enough, some places want a pre departure test too. It is not really any great stress.
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@munich_irish, cool, thanks. I’ll probably arrange private transfer from Oulx to Montgenevre, so that might be even easier.
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Hi all.

Regarding the passenger locator form on the gov.uk site. It is blooming different on the PC and on a phone.
On the phone and PC it asks to scan in your QR code. However in the small print you realise if you have a document with 2 QR codes it doesn't work. So you tick I can't scan in.

Then on the phone it offers you a chance to upload the pdf file. Guess what. The NHS pdf file is too small. It has to be a minimum size. You would think that the minimum size would be less than the NHS doc. Jeeeezzz.

However, on the PC you can tick no I can't scan it it simply says bring a printed copy of the CoViD vaccination form with you.

I recommend doing all of the PLF in advance then when you have <48 hours to go, you add in the last details about date and landing time.
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@richb67, thanks for posting (and everyone else) - I will be really interested in your future update... prior to 20th Nov - after which I will hope to contribute!!
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Thanks for the info. Have a trip booked to pila over Christmas
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GlasgowCyclops wrote:
Hi all.

Regarding the passenger locator form on the gov.uk site. It is blooming different on the PC and on a phone.
On the phone and PC it asks to scan in your QR code. However in the small print you realise if you have a document with 2 QR codes it doesn't work. So you tick I can't scan in.

Then on the phone it offers you a chance to upload the pdf file. Guess what. The NHS pdf file is too small. It has to be a minimum size. You would think that the minimum size would be less than the NHS doc. Jeeeezzz.

However, on the PC you can tick no I can't scan it it simply says bring a printed copy of the CoViD vaccination form with you.

I recommend doing all of the PLF in advance then when you have <48 hours to go, you add in the last details about date and landing time.


yep exactly the problem we had. It was a bit disconcerting but TBH didn't seem to make any difference. Maybe it would if you were coming back from a red country. It was annoying that you couldn't even start the UK PLF until 48 hrs before so couldn't do that stuff before travel. Whereas the Italian one could all be done well ahead and then just tweaked when you had the extra info e.g. seat numbers
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Oh and one more thing. Check you can transit. I'm on BA so GLA to LHR then direct from Heathrow. However if I went KLM via Amsterdam I would need a confirmation that Sweden would let me in or I couldn't clear the border control into Shengen.

Sweden won't do that so I would be stuck if I accidentally booked KLM.

Worth everyone checking if they have an EU transit.
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so, NHS app has been updated and the new QR code now isn't recognised by the Italian green pass app, anyone else had a similar problem? The old code is recognised and correctly given as invalid as it's expired but the new code gives a "can't be read" error message.

FYI, you can now add the travel passes to your Apple wallet which will be handy once the QR code is valid Confused
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Similar problem but I may have a solution.

I discovered that my NHS QR code is accepted by the Italian Green Pass App BUT if you print this out (or photograph it) the Italian verification App VerificaC19 (which will be used by Restaurants etc.) doesn't recognise it as a valid code.
If you look carefully you will see that the QR code that appears in the Green Pass App is NOT the same as the NHS QR code. Some kind of processing/conversion is taking place but it may be be flawed.
With a bit of tinkering I discovered that if you scan the NHS Covid Pass QR Code into the French TousAntiCovid App and then scan an image of that into the Italian Green Pass App the Italian VerificaC19 App recognises it as a valid code and you can eat.

This may all change of course when the NHS Covid Pass QR Code is accepted into the EU Digital Framework.
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What’s the Italian green pass app - is it an official app, or a third party one, and is it needed for anything specifically in Italy?

If you just scan your nhs qr code (eg from a saved pdf or a screenshot) with VerificaC19 does it work?
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You know it makes sense.
Just checked and something has changed or maybe I wasn't using the App correctly. The VerificaC19 App now recognises the Green Pass QR Code that I got from the NHS Covid Pass QR Code and it also recognises the NHS Covid Pass QR Code.

For information : The GreenPass App is the official Italian App for visitors/tourists to load up their Covid Vaccination data (e.g. NHS QR Code). The VerificaC19 App is the official Italian App which will be used by Restaurants etc. to scan the QR Code in the Green Pass App to check it's veracity. I'm booked into a hotel in February and they told me that I MUST have the Green Pass in order to access their restaurant. But as the NHS Code seems to be recognised by the VerificaC19 App maybe not. To be safe though...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
First of all I hadn’t come across the green pass app so thanks for that. For others it’s called GreenPass Italia.

I’m guessing that the NHS are currently doing some updates because it looks like the QR codes have been transposed. So earlier today none were verified by verifac but now dose1 validates and shows the data for dose 2. The dose 2 QRcode doesn’t validate as it shows the data for dose 1 Embarassed

I didn’t need to use the GreenPass app just the Apple wallet. This is pretty ridiculous!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I don’t think that’s an ‘official’ app, it’s just a random company that’s produced one for the Italian market ?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
That makes sense as I tried both official apps from the Italian gov web site and hadn’t heard of this one.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
We’re in Sicily and the only time that our green passes have been checked were for the Greek theatre in Taormina and the Archaeological Park in Siracusa, both outdoor Eh oh!

The Sicilians have taken wearing masks to a new level. Under the nose , as a beard and taking them on the chin to talk. Maybe it’s different in the North.
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Addendum. We were asked for our green pass in a restaurant this evening
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This thread is an intimidating read - congratulations to those who have navigated it all. Things seem to be changing with bewildering speed. I'm going to France, and possibly Italy, at Christmas but there doesn't seem to be much point in trying to get to grips with the requirements till nearer the time.
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I am with PamW on this ....I am off on skiing trip across Europe (Andorra France and Italy) by car in Jan , and , like most , am totally confused by the whole pass thing. I tried the Verica app and couldnt scan the NHS ap on to it so I will follow events Puzzled Puzzled Puzzled


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Mon 18-10-21 7:40; edited 1 time in total
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Yup, at present not skiing till March. It’s a moving feast and I will keep a watch but anything could still happen I fear
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
richb67 wrote:
so, NHS app has been updated and the new QR code now isn't recognised by the Italian green pass app, anyone else had a similar problem? The old code is recognised and correctly given as invalid as it's expired but the new code gives a "can't be read" error message.

FYI, you can now add the travel passes to your Apple wallet which will be handy once the QR code is valid Confused


The domestic QR code generated in the NHS app does not work with the Italian VerificaC19 app.

You need to select the travel pass option in the NHS app - and it creates a pass with two QR codes , 1 of 2 and 2 of 2 doses. The 2 of 2 is on the left and this one gives me the green tick in the Italian app..

You can print them or add to apple wallet.
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We're due to go as a group between Christmas and new year, so thanks for the info on this, and interested in your experience of whatever the new regs will be, post late October.

We've got kids coming with us in December too, so will have to see what that brings us re apps, acceptance of single jabbed 12-15yo kids.
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@richb67, Nice! That's a very informative post. Thank You.
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Italy have extended the existing rules until 31-December, as far as I can see no changes for UK citizens, we're still the only d-list country that has a 48 hr pre-arrival test rather than 72 hrs.

also, NHS app now generates the correct QR codes so you just need to add the dose 2 QR code to your iPhone 'wallet' or whatever the Android equivalent is (last week the app had a bug and was swapping dose 1 and dose 2 QR codes).

Travelling there in a few days so will update if anything has changed.
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My wife was on the phone to Inghams yesterday to make a small change on our Italian holiday at Xmas (so only 6wks away). The girl on the phone was saying we need a negative test 48hrs before departure. Our vaccination passport QR code will activate the Italian green pass, but only for the first 72hrs. After that you need a new negative test result to re-activate the green pass. Sounds like a right PITA.
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dode wrote:
My wife was on the phone to Inghams yesterday to make a small change on our Italian holiday at Xmas (so only 6wks away). The girl on the phone was saying we need a negative test 48hrs before departure. Our vaccination passport QR code will activate the Italian green pass, but only for the first 72hrs. After that you need a new negative test result to re-activate the green pass. Sounds like a right PITA.


This wasn’t our experience this week and I think (ok am certain) Ingram’s are wrong about the 72 hrs.
There are two different things

Test - required to be taken 48 hrs before arrival in Italy and proof needed for the airline/ immigration, after this it’s not required and it’s not tied in with the green pass. There isn’t even a way to tie the two together.

Green pass - needed to get into country but also access certain establishments, services and transport e.g. access public buildings, indoor eating. The NHS travel dose 2 QR code has a 30 day validity from the day you generate it and even has the expiry date printed on it. To extend for another 30 days you just generate another pass from the NHS app, the only issue would be if it is more than a year since your booster/2nd jab. ( pretty sure it’s a year but this has changed a couple of times)

I just checked and a QR code generated from the NHS app on 23rd October still gives passes in the Italian verifac app. Just try it yourself for reassurance.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@richb67, thanks for that. Having done a bit more reading up, it appears that the 72hr Italian domestic re-test only applies to those who are non vaccinated.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
sounds right. Given anyone over 18 not vaccinated must self isolate so is unlikely to be going skiing with Inghams so they need to provide better info to their customers.

It'll be interesting to hear from the first couple of people who actually go skiing in Italy to find out how ski passes etc are handled in reality.

Just got back from a short break in Italy. Had a couple of issues with venue's using an old version of the Italian app which doesn't recognise the NHS QR codes. One place completely ignored the big red warning on their app, the other queried us but accepted our QR codes once I showed them it came up green using the Verifac app on my phone. Again easy to get into Italy, bit of a pain to get checked into for BA flights as we needed to show the PLF and vaccination certificate despite also having uploaded them.

Restaurants generally didn't ask for the green pass, museums, public buildings etc did.

Key point when checking in to return make sure you have the following readily available, paper is better than phone
NHS dose 2 QR code
the full NHS travel covid certificate
the UK PLF
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
GlasgowCyclops wrote:
Oh and one more thing. Check you can transit. I'm on BA so GLA to LHR then direct from Heathrow. However if I went KLM via Amsterdam I would need a confirmation that Sweden would let me in or I couldn't clear the border control into Shengen.

Sweden won't do that so I would be stuck if I accidentally booked KLM.

Worth everyone checking if they have an EU transit.


GlasgowCyclops could you explain what you mean please. We are due to travel to Italy in Feb on Air France via Paris. Seriously regretting that now. I assumed that as we are purely transiting through France we just needed to meet the Italian entry rules although France seem similar anyway. Why would I need to worry about other countries in Europe like Sweden??
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Thank you all for your input on this thread - off to Italy in Jan so it’s a huge help. I’ve downloaded both apps & tried out my 2nd jab QR code & both work perfectly.

Having spent four weeks in Greece during Sept & Oct (2 trips), I completely concur with the feedback on the UK PLF. Definitely set it up before you go - getting to grips with the 14 character password is a feat in itself before the uselessness of trying & failing to download QR codes. Just say you don’t have one.

I shall go & investigate the Italian PLF in a bit - presume it’s one each so will get that set up in preparation.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
What is the position if you drive ,...I am likely driving from L2a and have never seen a border checkpoint ...


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 7-11-21 17:14; edited 2 times in total
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DaveD wrote:
What is the position if you drive ,...I likely driving from L2a and have never seen a border checkpoint ...


Went through the Frejus tunnel twice this week (Mont Cenis pass is closed now). No documents were checked at the border. Sanitary pass (green pass) required indoors at all restaurants we visited as well as other indoor venues (excluding shops).
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[quote="davidof"]
DaveD wrote:
What is the position if you drive ,...I likely driving from L2a and have never seen a border checkpoint ...


Went through the Frejus tunnel twice this week (Mont Cenis pass is closed now). No documents were checked at the border. Sanitary pass (green pass) required indoors at all restaurants we visited as well as other indoor venues (excluding shops).[/quote

Thanks for that .....also I have never seen mentioned that the 2nd jab is time expired as I had mine in October 2020 as I was o the Ox/AZ trial Puzzled
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No standard border at the Mont Blanc Tunnel, though when I passed through the other day there were military checks going on on certain vehicles entering Italy. No checks to go back into France however.
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LadyDi wrote:
GlasgowCyclops wrote:
Oh and one more thing. Check you can transit. I'm on BA so GLA to LHR then direct from Heathrow. However if I went KLM via Amsterdam I would need a confirmation that Sweden would let me in or I couldn't clear the border control into Shengen.

Sweden won't do that so I would be stuck if I accidentally booked KLM.

Worth everyone checking if they have an EU transit.


GlasgowCyclops could you explain what you mean please. We are due to travel to Italy in Feb on Air France via Paris. Seriously regretting that now. I assumed that as we are purely transiting through France we just needed to meet the Italian entry rules although France seem similar anyway. Why would I need to worry about other countries in Europe like Sweden??


I have a similar concern, as I’m travelling to the Dolomites via Innsbruck (with Inghams). According to the Austrian regs though, transit is allowed without Covid 19 entry restrictions, as long as there’s no stop or delay in transit. I would check what the French regs say.

“ E. GENERAL EXEMPTIONS
Persons entering Austria for the following purposes are not subject to COVID-19 entry restrictions or mandatory quarantine:

TRANSIT through Austria without stop or unnecessary delay. A change in mode of transportation is admissible (e.g. plane to train, bus, taxi, etc.).”

I’m not sure what that means in practical terms though - presumably *someone* is going to check we’ve all been tested within preceding 48 hours, but would Innsbruck border control know to apply the Italian rules, or would there be some actual border check entering Italy?
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@Pejoli, last winter there was actually border check on Austria-Italy border, and if you were lucky, you could also find "border" check when going from Tyrol to Salzburg, so they checked for how long you were in Tyrol and if it was really just transit. In summer, when I was going for last time there, there was absolutely noone, no police no custom no anyone else, even though at same time there was Austrian police and military on Slovenia-Austria border checking everyone. So officially, you can fly to Innsbruck, get in (hired) car and drive to Dolomites, but only stop you are allowed to make is for refueling and toilet. No shops, no bars, no restaurants or hotels. And maybe, also no car hire office. No idea about this last one,but would actually make sense that you are not allowed to do it, as on the end, it's same as restaurant stop along the route.
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@Pejoli,

We are also going to the Dolomites via Innsbruck.
The extra complication is that we’ll be travelling in March just after my second jab times out (as far as Austria is concerned). We have both had a booster but that still hasn’t been included in the NHS Covid pass.
Transit through Austria should be ok but it’s still a concern.
I’m considering switching flights to Venice.
If I’d had my jabs at the same time as most people my age it wouldn’t be a problem in March but we both work part time for the NHS so we were a couple of months early.
Those who took part in the trials are in a similar position- no good turn goes unpunished Sad
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Just following this as we've booked 2 months in Aosta - lots of useful info, thank you!
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