SkyTeam Alliance members and transatlantic partners KLM and Delta Air Lines are partnering to launch ‘COVID-tested flights’ from Atlanta to Amsterdam. This will allow eligible travelers an exemption from the Netherlands’ quarantine-upon-arrival policy that is currently in place. This could be a huge help for those looking to cross the Atlantic and get to Europe this December. Let’s look at what eligibility entails.
“This is a very important and great step forward. Until an approved working vaccine is available worldwide, this testing program represents the first step towards the international travel industry’s recovery. I am grateful for the constructive collaboration with our partners Delta Air Lines and the Schiphol Group and to have the support of the Dutch Government to make this unique COVID- free travel corridor trial possible.” -Pieter Elbers, President & CEO KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Effective December 15, 2020, Delta and KLM will have COVID-tested flights from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The arrangement was struck with cooperation between the two airlines as well as the Dutch government and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
These special flights will be made possible with the launch of a comprehensive COVID-19 testing program, with the final qualifier being a negative PCR test result upon landing in the Netherlands.
These COVID-tested flights will operate four times per week from Atlanta to Amsterdam, with each airline will operating two frequencies.
Only passengers with negative test results will be accepted on-board.
These flights will initially run for three weeks and, if successful, could be extended to other markets.
According to a Delta press release on the issue, customers will be able to choose the COVID-tested flights when they purchase their tickets online, or “opt for one of the alternative Delta or KLM daily flights between Atlanta and Amsterdam that are not covered within the trial program.”
To fly on Delta and KLM’s COVID-tested flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam, customers will need to take the following tests:
- A COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test five days before arrival in Amsterdam.
- A Rapid antigen before boarding at Atlanta Airport.
- And a PCR test directly upon arrival at Schiphol.
Three tests in exchange for 10 days
Entry requirements for the Netherlands normally include ten days of quarantine. “However, by completing a negative PCR test five days before arrival in the Netherlands and self-isolating until departure, customers can choose to complete the quarantine ahead of their departing flight,” says Delta. “No quarantine will be required upon arrival once the customer tests negative via a second PCR test at Schiphol airport.”
Don’t go booking your Christmas vacation to Amsterdam just yet. This new program will be great only for some travelers heading to the Netherlands. Since the country is still not open to general tourism, passengers looking to enter the country will need to have eligible citizenship or meet some other entry requirements. The list outlines the acceptable circumstances, including essential reasons, such as for certain specified work, health, and education reasons.
Customers who are transiting via Amsterdam to other countries will still be required to follow entry requirements and any mandatory quarantine in place at their final destination.
So, perhaps the obvious question resulting from this article: Would you do it? Would you undergo three tests in order to avoid having to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival in Amsterdam? Let us know in the comments!