Published on : Friday, November 27, 2020
Delta Air Lines, the Aeroporti di Roma and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport recently joined hands for a transatlantic COVID-19 testing program with the hope the scheme will enable quarantine-free entry into Italy, in accordance with a decree expected to be issued soon by the government. The airline has engaged expert advisors from Mayo Clinic, a global leader in serious and complex healthcare, to review and assess the customer-testing protocols needed for Delta to execute a COVID-tested flight program.
Delta also worked closely with the Georgia department of public health to develop a blueprint for governments to reopen important international travel markets. Starting on December 1, a dedicated trial will test customers and crew on newly launched flights from Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Rome-Fiumicino International Airport. The tests will exempt all United States citizens permitted to travel to Italy for essential reasons, such as for work, health and education, as well as all European Union and Italian citizens from quarantine on arrival in Italy.
Steve Sear, President, Delta said in a statement that carefully designed COVID-19 testing protocols are the best path for resuming international travel safely and without quarantine until vaccinations are widely in place. He said that safety is the core promise of the airline and at the centre of the pioneering testing effort as well as the foundation of the standards for cleanliness and hygiene to help customers feel confident when they fly in Delta.
Henry Ting, Chief Value Officer, the Mayo Clinic added that based on conducted modelling it can be predicted combined with multiple layers of protection, including mask requirements, proper social distancing and environmental cleaning, the risk of COVID-19 infection on a flight that is 60% full – should be nearly one in a million. Sear further mentioned that the state of Georgia and the Italian government have demonstrated leadership in testing protocols and practices that can safely reopen international travel without quarantine requirements.