High-speed trains between Rome and Milan will only carry passengers and staff who have tested negative for coronavirus.
First there were the covid-free flights between Rome and Milan airports. Now it is the turn of trains.
Italy's first covid-free trains will operate between Rome and Milan from Friday 16 April, with only those who have tested negative for covid-19 permitted to board the Frecciarossa high-speed service.
Initially there will be two non-stop trains running between Rome and Milan, reports Italian news agency ANSA, with the first train leaving Roma Termini at 08.50 and the second train leaving Milano Centrale at 18.00.
Tickets are available online with the passenger informed that the train is "covid-free" and can only be taken by displaying, in addition to the ticket, a certificate showing they tested negative for covid-19 within 48 hours before departure.
The test can also be taken in the screening area at the stations and passengers must show up 50 minutes before departure. Those who have already had a test within the last 48 hours do not need to arrive 50 minutes early.
Covid-19 test centres
In Rome the screening centre is in Piazza dei Cinquecento, at the corner with the ruins of the Servian Walls to the northern side of the square, reports Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.
In Milan the testing hub will be at street level in Piazza Duca d’Aosta, near the entrance to the subway. Both centres are in general use but will have a priority lane for train passengers.
Those who been vaccinated must also present a certificate of a negative test within the last 48 hours or undergo a new test at the train station.
Passengers who test positive at the station cannot board the train. Trenitalia provides a 100 per cent refund of the ticket price, either in voucher form or cash refund, reports Il Sole 24 Ore.
The covid-free trains will have a passenger capacity of 50 per cent.
The procedure is similar to that of covid tested flights, also known as covid free, which began on a trial basis last September on the Rome-Milan route.
In December the covid-free model was extended to intercontinental flights from Rome Fiumicino to New York (with Alitalia) and Atlanta (with Delta), while more recently there were covid-free flights launched from New York to Malpensa, with Delta and American Airlines.
Covid-free trains for tourism
Gianfranco Battisti, the CEO of Ferrovie dello Stato, announced his intention to extend covid-free trains in late spring and summer to other cities.
Battisti said the move would allow "travel in total safety to tourist destinations such as Florence, Venice, Naples and many others."
A detailed plan, with times and destinations, has yet to be revealed.