Delta is to expand its quarantine-free services between the US and Italy from next month, with the initiative launching on flights from New York JFK to Milan Malpensa and Rome Fiumicino.

Customers will be able to avoid the mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival in Italy, as a result of “a rigorous testing protocol before and after travel”.

Travellers must produce three negative results under the following testing regime:

  • 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

Quarantine-free services from JFK to Rome Fuimicino will launch on April 1, followed by Milan Malpensa on April 2.

Flights to Rome will initially operate three times per week, increasing to four in May, and daily in June, while those to Milan will operate four times a week in April, rising to daily from June 2.

Delta said that the new protocol will be available to all citizens permitted to travel to Italy for essential reasons, such as for certain specified work, health and education reasons.

The carrier began trials of quarantine-free flights from Atlanta to Rome and Amsterdam late last year, in conjunction with partners Alitalia and KLM.

Delta and KLM will launch Covid-tested flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam

Armando Brunini, CEO of SEA Milan Airports called the move “an important and tangible step towards making travel safer and easier for passengers during the pandemic”, while Delta’s Alain Bellemare, EVP and president – International, said:

“A year after air travel stalled to levels not seen in living memory, these Covid-tested, quarantine-free flights provide a real boost to the aviation industry.

“We are starting to see more global vaccination programmes but until they become more widespread, corridor flights like this can help keep our customers and crew safer when they fly.”