Delta Air Lines is to launch the first quarantine-free transatlantic route between Atlanta and Rome.
The US carrier is working with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport and Aeroporti di Roma to create a transatlantic Covid-19 testing trial which will allow entry into Italy without any quarantine.
The relaunched Atlanta-Rome flights will start on 19 December when passengers and crew will have to test negative for Covid through a PCR test taken up to 72 hours before departure, a rapid test at Atlanta airport before boarding and then another test on arrival in Rome.
There will also be a test at Rome-Fiumicino airport before departure back to the US, while passengers will be required to provide information to support US contact-tracing protocols on arrival in Atlanta.
Steve Sear, Delta’s president – international and executive vice-president – global sales, said: “Carefully designed Covid-19 testing protocols are the best path for resuming international travel safely and without quarantine until vaccinations are widely in place.
“Safety is our core promise – it’s at the centre of this pioneering testing effort and it’s the foundation of our standards for cleanliness and hygiene to help customers feel confident when they fly Delta.”
Sear also praised the State of Georgia and the Italian government for demonstrating “leadership in testing protocols and practices that can safely reopen international travel without quarantine requirements”.