Delta Plans ‘Quarantine-Free’ Flights from the U.S. to Italy

By Kurt Stolz on 26 November 2020
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Piazza del Popolo in Rome

Delta Air Lines announced plans to offer “quarantine-free” flights from the United States to Italy, opening up a route closed by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus earlier in the year.

The program, for which Delta is partnering with Aeroporti di Roma and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, involves three coronavirus tests, namely a PCR, or polymerase chain reaction test, 72 hours prior to departure, a rapid test at the airport in Atlanta prior to departure, and a rapid test upon arrival in Rome at Fiumicino Airport.  An additional rapid test will be required prior to the return flight to the United States as well.

The new program is available to all EU citizens as well as U.S. citizens traveling to Italy for essential reasons such as business-related travel, in line with current Italian immigration protocols.

The Atlanta-based carrier said that passengers who test negative prior to departure would not be required to self-isolate upon arrival.

Delta is partnering with the Mayo Clinic on the program, which pronounced the idea to be safe.

“Based on the modeling we have conducted, when testing protocols are combined with multiple layers of protection, including mask requirements, proper social distancing and environmental cleaning, we can predict that the risk of Covid-19 infection – on a flight that is 60 percent full – should be nearly one in a million,” said Dr. Henry Ting, the hospital’s chief value officer.

The action follows a similar domestic trial conducted by Aeroporti di Roma and Alitalia, a codeshare Delta partner.

Last week, American Airlines and joint-venture partner British Airways announced a similar three-step program for flights between the United States and England.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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