Changes to travel restrictions leads to two US airlines opening covid-tested flights to Italy. American Airlines and Delta confirm passengers can travel to Italy for any reason on certain routes.
From Sunday (16th May), passengers on two US airlines can take Covid-tested flights to Italy for “any reason”, after Italy announced changes to its travel restrictions.
Their announcements came shortly after Italy’s Foreign Minister said in a Facebook post the country is ready to welcome US tourists again, provided they arrive on a Covid-tested flight. “Travel for tourist purposes will be allowed from the USA, Canada and Japan, countries with which we’re strengthening Covid-free flights,” Di Maio wrote. “We are thus opening up to safe tourism from all the G7 states after more than a year.”
American Airline and Delta reopen routes
“With the recent change in Italy’s travel restrictions, any customers, whether traveling for leisure or essential business, are eligible to fly on American’s flights from New York to Italy starting May 16”, AA stated.
Delta Air Lines stated that its Covid-tested flights between the US and Italy “will open to all customers effective May 16th, following the Italian government lifting entry restrictions enabling American leisure travelers to visit the country for the first time in more than a year.”
These flights allow passengers to avoid quarantine upon arrival in Italy. This is provided they test negative for Covid-19 at either end of the journey.
Delta stated that American travellers will be able to board the Covid-tested flights regardless of vaccination status. Their Covid-tested flights are in partnership with Italian airline Alitalia. They plan to increase the number of flights next week, and the number of routes from July.
AA expects to increase its Covid-tested routes, including Dallas-Rome, within the coming days.
What is a ‘Covid-free’ flight?
These special flights into Italy require passengers to undergo a series of coronavirus tests. The protocol varies from airline to airline.
Delta requires passengers to provide proof of a negative PCR test result, taken no more than 72 hours before departure. They then take a rapid antigen test at the airport. Provided they test negative, they can board the flight. Upon arrival, they must immediately take another test.
In addition, all travellers must complete a digital location form before boarding: the Digital Passenger Locator Form (dPLF). Following this, they will receive an email with a QR code. The code must be shown at check-in.
Further, the passenger needs to provide a completed self-declaration form, specific to the Covid-tested flights.
When all tests come back negative, the passenger can enter Italy without concern over quarantine. Should the arrival test show positive, then they will need to quarantine.
Before returning to the US, travellers also need to take a pre-travel Covid-19 test. This is regardless of whether the traveller has a vaccination certificate or not.
Italy makes many changes to travel rules
The Foreign Minister’s statement on social media followed a slew of changes to Italian travel rules on Friday. Two new Health Ministry ordinances were passed after a week of announcements that left many unsure as to whether to book a holiday or not.
Di Maio stated that Italy will also allow tourists to arrive on Covid-tested flights from Canada and Japan this summer. However, no-on knows which airlines will be operating Covid-tested flights from these countries. Nor do we know when they will start.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has said the country wants to cut quarantine for vaccinated tourists from the United States, Canada and Japan. However, there has been no confirmation yet of when rules will relax for visitors other than those on the special Covid-tested flights.