Alitalia To Start Quarantine-Free New York To Rome Flights

Jumping on the trend of quarantine-free flights, Alitalia is looking to operate quarantine-free tests between New York and Italy. The option, which is on one of three weekly flights from New York to Rome, will run from December 8th.

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Alitalia will be operating quarantine-free flights between New York and Rome. Photo: Vincenzo Pace |

Alitalia’s quarantine-free flights

Alitalia will run one of three of its weekly flights from New York to Rome as quarantine-free flights. Passengers will need to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of departure or take an antigen test directly at the airport before departure at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Upon arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport (FCO), passengers will need to take another antigen test. If that comes back negative, passengers will be able to enter Italy quarantine-free.

Alitalia Getty
Alitalia will offer one of three flights per week between New York and Rome for the quarantine-free trial. Photo: Getty Images

Passengers will still need to wear protective surgical masks and have extras with them. Every traveler will need to replace their mask every four hours. Also, before boarding, passengers will need to certify they have not come in contact with anyone infected with COVID-19.

The goal

In a press release, Alitalia stated that it was responding to passengers, who, when surveyed, expressed an interest in using testing to make travel more accessible. Alitalia will also be able to test the effectiveness and function of this new travel protocol. The Italian flag carrier is aiming to make it more widespread and available ahead of the summer 2021 travel season.

Travel restrictions have severely limited airlines’ ability to capitalize on what is usually strong transatlantic travel demand for both business and leisure passengers. Right now, however, travel restrictions have strongly limited those offerings. Airlines are now hoping to use testing as a means to reopen international travel and capture revenue.

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Alitalia wants to get something in place to open up summer travel in 2021. Photo: Getty Images

In September, Alitalia offered COVID-free flights between Rome and Milan twice a day. It appears that those tests went well, and now the airline is looking to replicate those results for transatlantic travel.

Joining its SkyTeam partners

Alitalia, which is part of the SkyTeam alliance, made the announcement as Delta and KLM announced they would be partnering for COVID-tested, quarantine-free flights between the United States and the Netherlands.

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Delta is also offering quarantine-free flights to Italy. Photo: Getty Images

Also, Delta is taking part in a quarantine-free trial for flights between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and Rome. Delta’s flights will start from December 19th. However, Delta’s program requires a few more tests than Alitalia’s.

Other travel restrictions remain in effect

Nonessential travel is currently barred to Italy, that is, tourism. Essential travel, such as for business, EU residents, Italian citizens, relatives of Italian citizens, students, and a few other reasons, will be allowed to fly back to Italy.

ALitalia grounded plane
Significant entry restrictions remain up on both sides of the Atlantic. Photo: Getty Images

In addition, the United States still has travel restrictions for European citizens. Travelers coming from Italy and other countries from the Schengen Area who are not US citizens, immediate relatives to a US citizen, or with other pre-determined visa statuses or special approval from the United States Department of State. If you are unsure whether you would be admitted to Rome or the United States under the program, check with various embassies or consulates about your travel ability.

Are you going to take part in this quarantine-free trial with Alitalia? Let us know in the comments!