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Back in November, Delta announced that it was running a trial in which it was offering customers and crew traveling between Atlanta and Rome, a series of COVID tests during their journey with the aim of allowing all participants to enter Italy without being subjected to the countries quarantine rules. A similar trial was carried out for travelers flying between Atlanta and Amsterdam.
The trials clearly went well because is Delta now also planning to offer quarantine-flights from New York to Rome and Milan.
From 1 April, Delta will launch quarantine-free flights between New York JFK and Rome Fiumicino and from 2 April it will offer the same service between New York and Milan Malpensa.
Both the Delta app and Delta.com clearly label these flights as “COVID-tested”:
The flights between New York and Rome will initially operate 3x/week before increasing to 4x/week in May and then going daily in June, while the flights to Milan will initially operate 4x/week in April before moving to a daily operation from 2 May.
Here are the April schedules for both routes:
New York – Rome
DL182 JFK 19:45 – 10:35+1 day FCO (Tue, Thu & Sat)
DL183 FCO 13:00 – 16:50 JFK (Wed, Fri & Sun)
Operated by an Airbus A330-300
New York – Milan
DL118 JFK 17:35 – 07:35+1 day MXP (Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun)
DL119 MXO 13:00 – 16:50 JFK (Mon, Tue, Thu & Sat)
Operated by an Airbus A330-300
The COVID-tested flights will operate through 30 June 2021.
Delta’s passengers traveling to Italy must test negative a total of three times – including twice before departure – if they are to avoid quarantine at their destination.
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
In Rome and Milan customers will be asked to make their way to a testing facility within the airport terminal where medical professionals will administer a rapid antigen test. If this is negative, they will not need to quarantine.
Customers also will be required to provide information prior to entry into the U.S. to support CDC contact-tracing protocols.
Not Open To Everyone
It’s key to note that these ‘quarantine-free’ flights will not be a way for all US citizens to travel freely to Italy (and therefore Europe). The tests will only exempt from quarantine US citizens who are permitted to travel to Italy for essential reasons, such as work, health, and education. The tests will also exempt from quarantine all European Union and Italian citizens arriving from the United States.
Also, although the flights also include a rapid test before departure to the United States, there is no suggestion in what Delta has said (so far) to indicate that this will permit non-US citizens who have been traveling in Europe to enter the United States.
Delta’s COVID testing trials late last year clearly went well as the airline is now set to offer quarantine-free flights from New York to Rome and Milan. The flights will launch on 1 April and 2 April respectively but, at the time of writing, they do not offer access to Italy to anyone who didn’t have access already.