How Covid ‘green passes’ work in Europe’s key holiday destinations

You can only obtain the super green pass with evidence of full vaccination or recent recovery, meaning a negative test result is no longer sufficient for unvaccinated people to ski in Italy. Austria has similarly tight vaccination requirements to access the slopes, and there are reports France could soon do the same.

It will be required to access most hospitality and leisure facilities until at least March 31, the Foreign Office states.

Italy accepts the UK’s NHS proof of Covid recovery and vaccination record (both of which are accessible via the NHS app) as the equivalent to a Super Green Pass, provided the certificate has a verifiable digital QR code. Children under the age of 12 are exempt. If not fully vaccinated, those aged 12-17 must test every 48 hours to obtain a green pass.


Greece only permits indoor entry to bars, entertainment and sports venues, and indoor restaurants to those that are fully vaccinated, or can provide valid proof of recovery. The NHS Covid Pass is accepted for this purpose.

Since December 13, for those aged over 60 who received their second dose over seven months ago (and have not had a booster), Greece considers their vaccination status expired. This does not affect entry to Greece, but domestic ‘unvaccinated’ measures will apply within Greece, the Foreign Office states.

Unvaccinated children (aged four-18) must provide a negative self-test to enter public spaces such as shops, restaurants (indoor and outdoor) and museums.

Similar measures apply to some public transport networks. To board boats or ferries to travel between Greek islands or take a long distance bus, you will also need proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative Covid test result. Rapid tests are available for €10 (£8.50) for those who are not vaccinated. The rules also apply to children aged 12-17. Children aged five-12 may be expected to show a negative test result. 


Germany is currently operating what it has dubbed the “2G” rule, which means that proof of vaccination or recovery are needed to access most public indoor spaces – including hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues. The previous rule, which allowed for a negative test (known as the “3G”) was replaced by this new system on December 2.

The NHS Covid Pass letter or app includes this information, and is accepted in Germany. Your final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 14 days prior to travel, and those who have recently recovered from Covid must show a positive PCR test at least 28 days old but no older than six months.


Austria is currently under the “2-G” rule, meaning that proof of vaccination or recovery is required in most public areas. According to the tourist board, these include ‘hotels, restaurants, leisure centres, gyms, cultural institutions (cinemas, theatres etc.), ski lifts/cable cars and body-related services (such as hairdressers)’. This applies to everyone aged 12 and over, and Austria recognises the NHS Covid Pass for this purpose. Note that to show proof of vaccination, you may need a booster jab as two-dose vaccinations are only valid for 270 days after the second dose. 

Teenagers (aged 12 or over) who are not fully vaccinated or have not recovered from Covid, can obtain “2-G” status with the so-called “Holiday Ninja Pass”. It requires regular testing for five days, two of which must be PCR tests. However, it is not accepted in Vienna.


For everyone over the age of six, Cyprus requires proof of full vaccination (including a booster jab if you received a second dose more than seven months prior to travel) to enter specified areas including shopping malls and restaurants. For travellers, this is obtained when flying to Cyprus, as every arrival must hold a Cyprus Flight Pass confirming their vaccination status, pre-travel test results and recovery record. On entering the country, the certification can be used to access public areas where proof of vaccination is required. Cyprus recognises the NHS Covid Pass for this purpose. 


The Portuguese government has expanded the use of EU digital Covid certificates or UK vaccination records (or negative Covid-19 test results in some instances) to access services and activities. On mainland Portugal, these include restaurants, tourist establishments, hotels and events with reserved seating.

Portugal – and its islands – recognises the NHS Covid Pass for this purpose.

Bars and nightclubs remain closed until January 13. After they reopen, you will need to show a negative antigen test certificate to gain access, unless you can prove you have received the booster vaccine.

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