Rome Fiumicino to trial ‘COVID-tested’ corridors on flights from the US
Rome Fiumicino is set to become the first airport in Europe to activate ‘COVID-tested’ safe air corridors on flights coming from the US, ending the need for passengers to quarantine on arrival, according to operator Aeroporti di Roma (ADR).
ADR, which believes that “it is necessary to assess and implement new and additional control systems at departure, which can inhibit the movement of infected people and which can be effective alternatives to the quarantine measures currently in force”, is working with Alitalia and Delta Air Lines to make the initiative happen.
The new travel protocols will operate on a trial basis on flights from the United States to Fiumicino from December following the green light from Italy’s Ministers of Health, Transportation and Foreign Affairs.
ADR states that the pilot phase aims at assessing the effectiveness and functionality of the new travel procedures, looking at making it widely available in the Summer 2021 season.
Italy’s government has also given permission to launch COVID Tested flights between Munich, Frankfurt and Rome Fiumicino to ensure that the new travel procedure will be tested within the European Union.
Travellers arriving from New York JFK, Newark and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airports, on COVID-tested flights, will not be subject to the quarantine obligation, having performed at least a molecular or antigenic test within 48 hours before boarding and repeating, for additional safety, a rapid antigenic test upon arrival at Fiumicino.
The experiment, with Italy first among European countries to implement this innovative procedure, will take advantage of the experience already successfully gained on the COVID-tested Rome-Milan flights in operation since September 16, 2020, as well as the rapid testing facilities already in operation at Fiumicino.
Indeed, a rapid testing centre has been active in the Arrivals area at Fiumicino’s Terminal 3 since August with those undergoing testing able to get their results in less than 30 minutes.
The test centre is managed by medical staff from the Lazio Region and the USMAF – Ministry of Health.
ADR is also quick to point out that a 24-hour ‘drive-through’ testing facility has also been operational at the Fiumicino Long-Stay car park since September.
ADR CEO, Marco Troncone, says: “Ensuring passenger safety is of the essence for relaunching air traffic, still badly impacted by the effects of the pandemic.
“To this end, ADR has entered, with determination, into a path based on a maximum safety airport and oriented towards proposing new safe and innovative travel protocols, first developed on a prototype basis on the Rome-Milan route and now extended to major long-haul destinations.
“We are proud to have been forerunners of these models, thanks to the Ministry of Health, Transport, Foreign Affairs and Lazio Region in close coordination with Alitalia and Delta Air Lines, the country’s flag carrier and the largest global airline, respectively.”