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Excellent news: Quarantine-free flights between the U.S. and Italy are almost upon us

Thank you, Delta.

By
Anna Ben Yehuda
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Major travel restrictions are still in place all around the world and authorities are warning us about the perils of exposure when flying in and out of the country, but things seem to be looking up. Delta Air Lines just announced plans to launch a new transatlantic program devoid of quarantine requirements on specific COVID-19 tested flights between the United States and Italy. Rome, here we come!

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The specifics: the trial will kick off on December 19 on flights between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Rome-Fiumicino International Airport. The airline enlisted the help of Mayo Clinic to come up with specific testing protocols to follow on the trips, which will be taken by crew members, U.S. passengers permitted to travel to Italy for essential reasons and European Union and Italian citizens.

The new trial calls for all passengers to take a PCR test up to 72 hours before departure. If testing negative, the customers will then have to take a rapid test at the Atlanta airport before getting on the place and then a second rapid test upon arrival in Rome. 

If flying from Italy to the U.S., travelers will have to submit to a rapid test at the Rome-Fiumicino airport prior to departure and provide contact-tracing information upon entry 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," said Henry Ting, M.D., M.B.A., the chief value officer at Mayo Clinic in an official press release announcing the news. 

Delta, clearly a champion of travelers' rights throughout the global pandemic, has already committed to continuing to block middle seats on planes through, at least, March 30, 2021. Sanitation processes, mask policies and social distancing guidelines are also still in place.

May we suggest Christmas in Rome?

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