Delta announces first ‘quarantine-free, COVID-free’ flights to Europe

In partnership with Italian officials and experts from the Mayo Clinic, Delta Air Lines has announced plans to resume international travel to a key market amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, the airline announced “quarantine-free, COVID-free” travel from Atlanta to Rome, Italy — a relaunched flight path. The program allows travelers to enter the European country and begin their travels without having to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Trials with customers and crew will begin Dec. 19, Delta announced. European Union citizens, Italian citizens and U.S. citizens who are permitted to travel to Italy for essential reasons, such as work, health and education, are eligible to participate in Delta’s pioneer program.

Travelers are required to pass four COVID-19 tests: one taken up to 72 hours before departure, a rapid test administered at the Atlanta airport before boarding, a rapid test upon arrival at Italy’s Rome-Fiumicino International Airport and a rapid test at the Italian airport before departure back to the U.S.

“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,” Henry Ting, Mayo Clinic’s chief value officer, said in a press release.

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