Delta passengers can soon travel to Italy without the need to quarantine, thanks to a partnership between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Rome’s Aeroporti di Roma. The scheme utilizes new testing protocols to make such trips possible.
Travel between Europe has been challenging for many since the outbreak of COVID-19. However, while things in Europe did briefly get better towards the end of summer, transatlantic travel has remained restricted since March. As a result, it has been difficult for many to travel in either direction.
Delta’s new scheme
Delta today revealed new details of a quarantine-free travel scheme being implemented on its Route between Atlanta and Rome. The first of its kind scheme means that the travelers soon won’t have to quarantine on arrival in Italy, pending a decree expected to be issued by the Italian government.
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The trial is expected to launch on December 19th and means that those permitted to travel to Italy and those entitled to travel to the US will avoid quarantine. Most individuals are currently banned from traveling from Europe to the US, though this could soon change. However, the testing is much more rigorous for those traveling to Italy.
How it works
To travel to Italy without quarantining, passengers will need to take a PCR test up to 72 hours before departing Atlanta. They will then need to take a rapid test in Atlanta before boarding the aircraft and again on arrival in Rome.
This will exempt passengers from quarantining in Italy, but they would almost certainly need to quarantine if they traveled to another European country. When flying back to the US, passengers will only need to take a rapid test in Rome before boarding the aircraft.
Commenting on the program, the Mayo Clinic’s Chief Value Officer, Henry Ting, said,
“Based on the modeling we have conducted, when testing protocols are combined with multiple layers of protection, including mask requirements, proper social distancing and environmental cleaning, we can predict that the risk of COVID-19 infection – on a flight that is 60 percent full – should be nearly one in a million.”
As Delta is blocking its aircraft’s middle seat until the end of March, the aircraft will realistically fall in the scenario mentioned by Ting.
Latest testing trial
This latest testing trial being launched by Delta is just one of a range being explored to try and make transatlantic more accessible. United and American Airlines are already conducting testing trials on the route between the United States and London. However, this still involves quarantine for travelers.
If the scheme is successful, it could open the door to more quarantine free travel corridors based on testing instead of COVID-19 case numbers, the current metric being used by most.
Would you take part in the quarantine free travel trial? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!