American Airlines and Delta offer US tourists covid-tested flights to Italy

Two major US airlines offer quarantine-free flights to Italy to leisure travellers.

American Airlines has joined Delta in offering US tourists covid-tested, quarantine-free flights to Italy, with effect from 16 May.

The American Airlines covid-free flights to Italy, previously reserved for those travelling for business or essential reasons, are now open to leisure travellers as well.

"With the recent change in Italy’s travel restrictions, any customers, whether traveling for leisure or essential business, are eligible to fly on American’s flights from New York to Italy," states the American Airlines website.

The company's covid-tested flights are operating daily from New York (JFK) to Milan (Malpensa) with a three-times weekly service from JFK to Rome (Fiumicino).

The procedure is the same as the covid-tested flights operated by Delta, with passengers obliged to take a coronavirus test before departure and on arrival, regardless of their vaccination status.

On testing negative, passengers are not required to quarantine in Italy.

Delta announced on its website that its covid-tested flights to Italy are open to "all customers" as the Italian government lifts "entry restrictions enabling American leisure travelers to visit the country for the first time in more than a year."

The move by the two major American carriers comes after Italy's foreign affairs minister Luigi Di Maio stated that tourists from the US, Canada and Japan can travel to Italy on covid-free flights, hailing it as "safe travel without quarantine."

The travel update comes as Italy drops quarantine restrictions for travellers arriving from European and Schengen zone countries, Israel and the UK, effective from 16 May.

Previously people travelling to Italy from these areas were obliged to self-isolate for five days on arrival and undergo obligatory covid tests both before arrival and at the end of their quarantine period.

Under the new travel rules, a negative covid-19 test result before travelling will still be required, the Italian health ministry has confirmed.

The news comes after Italian prime minister Mario Draghi said Italy would reopen to vaccinated, recovered or covid-negative tourists this summer.

Yesterday Italy reported 93 coronavirus-related deaths in what is the nation's lowest daily covid death toll in seven months.