Delta Air Lines is expanding its range of quarantine flights, with the airline offering a route between New York-JFK to Milan Malpensa.
The “quarantine free” route commences on the 2nd of April 2021 – one day after day after the airline launches a similar operation to Rome Fiumicino. The services will enable customers eligible to travel to Italy to avoid the mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival, following a rigorous testing protocol before and after travel.
Delta started operating the COVID-tested flights began in December with the introduction of services from Atlanta to both Rome and Amsterdam (with Alitalia and KLM). The programme reassures customers to fly more safely and is a clear way forward to support global economic recovery while vaccination efforts against COVID-19 roll out worldwide.
If you plan to take these flights to Italy, you will have negative a total of three times – including twice before departure. On arrival at Milan Malpensa and Rome Fiumicino, customers will be asked to make their way to the testing facility within the airport terminal where medical professionals administer a rapid antigen test. If this is negative, they will not need to quarantine.
To fly on Delta’s COVID-tested flights from New York to Milan and from New York to Rome, customers will need to test negative for COVID-19 through:
- A COVID Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken up to 72 hours before departure
- A rapid test administered at the airport in New York-JFK before boarding
- A rapid test on arrival in Milan Malpensa or Rome Fiumicino
Customers also will be required to provide information before entering the U.S. to support CDC contact-tracing protocols. The COVID-tested flights will operate through June 30, 2021, allowing passengers to travel to Italy for essential reasons, such as for certain specified work, health and education reasons.
Current entry requirements for Italy normally include 14 days of quarantine.
The flights to Milan will initially operate four times a week in April before moving to a daily operation from 2nd May, while flights to Rome will operate three times a week and increase to four times a week in May and daily in June.
Delta’s Alain Bellemare, E.V.P and President said:
“A year after air travel stalled to levels not seen in living memory, these COVID-tested, quarantine-free flights provide a real boost to the aviation industry,”
“We are starting to see more global vaccination programs but until they become more widespread, corridor flights like this can help keep our customers and crew safer when they fly.”
Armando Brunini, CEO of SEA Milan Airports said
“The new COVID-tested flights operated by Delta to Milan-Malpensa are an important and tangible step towards making travel safer and easier for passengers during the pandemic. Milan to New York is a key intercontinental route for our market,”
“We hope that this will be the first of many other COVID-tested and quarantine-free flights supporting the beginning of the recovery whilst we wait for vaccination campaigns to gain momentum. A special thanks to the Italian National and Regional Governments for their help in making this happen.”
Marco Troncone, CEO of Aeroporti di Roma said
“The further extension of Delta’s COVID-tested routes to Rome Fiumicino, and to other airports in Italy, represents a very significant milestone in the process leading to the recovery of the aviation industry and to reactivate air traffic with maximum safety,”
“Aeroporti di Roma has supported the implementation of COVID-tested flights being the first airport in Europe to activate quarantine-free clean corridors with the U.S. The positive outcomes obtained from the travel corridors so far show that transoceanic COVID-Tested flights result not only in a significant risk reduction but also greater level of passenger satisfaction.”
Proving a solution, as Italy prepares to go into a whole red zone over Easter…
Delta’s solution of triple testing everyone on a flight is a comprehensive one, giving some assurance that passengers are not carrying detectable COVID-19 the run-up and at the time of travel. Whilst this is one way round the problem, the airline is pinning its hopes on vaccinations and vaccination programmes taking hold to allow herd immunity to come into effect.
Whilst some travel is allowed currently, it is important to note that Italy has different levels of lockdown (red and orange zones).
Red zone rules mean the closure of all schools, restaurants, bars, non-essential shops and hairdressers as well as tight restrictions on movement. Anyone leaving the house will need to justify doing so using a self-declaration form. In the orange zone, shops and schools can remain open and movement within an orange region is permitted.
Italy’s new restrictions are in place until Easter, when the whole nation will be placed in a ‘red’ zone over the weekend of April 3-5. TheLocal.it has excellent coverage of what to expect over the upcoming Easter period.
If you have essential travel needs to travel from the USA to Italy, this route could provide some assurance. As usual, you need to ensure that your trip is essential and meets the Italian Governments reasons for entering the country.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, with in-depth coverage, unique research, as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.
Also remember that we are part of the BoardingArea community, bringing you the latest frequent flyer news from around the world.