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Covid testing for Italy museums and for return flight to USA from Milan

  1. If you're planning on traveling to Italy any time soon, you may be daunted by the Web sites for various Italian museums and performing arts venues that say, essentially, No Admittance Without European Green Pass. Then you discover online that Green Passes are available only to European Union citizens, and any "compatibility" software that you might find online was written by The Creature from the Black Lagoon or some zombie, and does not work.

    Fear not! We've been in Italy since Nov. 2, 2021, and have found that the American CDC white card that lists your Covid vaccinations is accepted readily at all museums and concert venues we've been to.

  2. To return to the USA you need proof of a negative Covid test taken within 3 days of your flight departure to the USA. We will depart in 36 hours from Milan Malpensa. Scanning Google or Google Maps for Covid testing sites in Milan, you will find the incorrect information that the Red Cross is doing Covid testing near the foyer of Milano Centrale train station. The Red Cross is no longer doing this, so don't bother looking. However, a pharmacy within the Milano Centrale train station IS doing Covid rapid immunoassay testing. For Italy it is reasonably efficient and costs only 15 euros. The pharmacy is at ground level at the west wing of the train station, near the cab and bus departure areas.

    If you use this service BE SURE to get the pharmacy staff to give you a Green Pass document. It's. free. It's officially called the EU Digital COVID Certificate. When the pharmacy staff asked me if I wanted this so-called Green Pass, I initially said I thought that was only for citizens of EU countries, as I had read something to this effect earlier. But indeed this is the document you will need for getting on your flight home to the USA. If you leave the pharmacy with the unofficial document that you fill out at the pharmacy, this might not be accepted by the home-bound air carrier. The pharmacy staff do not care whether you board your plane home or not, so they will NOT insist that you get this certificate. Hence it's up to you to insist that the pharmacy provide this certificate.

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Most people who have been in Italy report that the CDC card is fine and works for Museums, trains, and Restaurants. There were some issues early on, but after a couple weeks of the policy being implemented, those reports went away.

Pharmacies doing the testing was very convenient for us as well, within a couple blocks of our hotel in Rome we had a choice of three test sites. The Red Cross test sites at train stations were a good idea, but anytime I saw one, the wait line was very long. The Pharmacy was a 5 minute wait, results in 20 minutes.

My experience with the form the Pharmacy gives you, is that we had a choice of two forms, one a test report, the other similar but with a QR code. Either will work for boarding. The form does need to be in English, or at least English as one of the several languages used on the form, needs to show the type of test, when administered, and the results, as well as some official identification. The QR code is not required, and you need not have a digital copy, a paper sheet is fine.

It is the QR code or Digital version for vaccination or recovery status that Italy is issuing only to residents (as are most other countries), anyone can get a test result with a QR code, though it is only valid for 24 to 48 hours depending on Countries.