For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic swept across Europe and the United States, a pilot program will allow a limited number of passengers to cross the Atlantic from Atlanta to Italy without having to self-quarantine on arrival, according to a Delta Air Lines press release Thursday.
The airline said it had worked with officials in Georgia and Italy and that the program would rely on a strict testing protocol to ensure flights could be performed safely and “coronavirus-free.”
From December 19, all US citizens authorized to travel to Italy for “essential reasons, such as work, health and education”, as well as all citizens of the European Union and Italians, will have to undergo a negative test for Covid-19 three times:
Once with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken up to 72 hours before departure.
Once with a quick test at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
And again with a quick test on arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport.
Passengers departing from Rome are expected to take a quick test at the airport again.
Travelers will also be asked to provide information upon entering the United States to support contact tracing protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Airlines, hit by the pandemic, are working to establish safe and reliable travel corridors.
The International Air Transport Association predicts this week that the sector will lose $ 157 billion by the end of next year.
“This crisis is devastating and relentless,” said the organization’s director, Alexandre de Juniac, in a statement.
Delta, in partnership with Alitalia, said the airlines were working with the Mayo Clinic to design the protocols and hoped they could serve as a model in the future.