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Covid-19: Delta and Alitalia to offer 'quarantine-free' flights between US and Italy

New travel corridor to eliminate quarantine requirement on covid-tested flights connecting Atlanta and Rome.

Delta Air Lines and Alitalia are to operate covid-tested, "quarantine free" flights between select airports in the US and Fiumicino in Rome.

The pilot programme, announced in a statement released by Delta today, will open up a travel corridor between the US and Europe from 19 December, for the first time since the covid-19 pandemic swept across both continents.

"The tests will exempt from quarantine on arrival in Italy all US citizens permitted to travel to Italy for essential reasons, such as for work, health and education, as well as all European Union and Italian citizens," states the Delta website.

The transatlantic flights will be offered to passengers in the US who have tested negative three times for covid-19, bypassing the obligation for travellers to quarantine on arrival in Italy. 

"Delta Air Lines, the Aeroporti di Roma and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have joined in a first-of-its-kind trans-Atlantic COVID-19 testing program that will enable quarantine-free entry into Italy, in accordance with a decree expected to be issued soon by the government of Italy," states the Delta website.

Travellers must take a "COVID Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)" test 72 hours before departing the US, and then rapid tests at Atlanta airport before boarding, and again on arrival in Rome, Delta says.

"We will be the first airport in Europe to activate safe health corridors with "covid tested" flights with some destinations in the United States" - said Rome's airport management company Aeroporti di Roma (AdR) in a statement - "replacing for travellers the obligation of quarantine upon arrival in Italy thanks to the collaboration with Alitalia and Delta."

Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore quotes AdR chief Marco Troncone as saying that the "flights with clean corridors" are set to begin "before Christmas, probably between 15 and 20 December, on the Rome-New York JFK route with Alitalia (three frequencies per week planned) and on the Atlanta-Rome with Delta flights (two frequencies per week)."

AdR said the Italian government is expected to give the green light to covid-tested US flights in the coming days, Reuters reports.

Photo credit: Markus Mainka / Shutterstock.com.

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