Italian carrier Alitalia has begun a trial program of in-airport pre-flight COVID-19 testing for select flights between Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate. To board the airline’s COVID-tested flights, passengers will be required to take a free rapid antigen test at the airport or show a negative molecular or antigenic test result from within 72 hours before boarding.
Passengers who are tested at the airport will have their results in 30 minutes, according to the airline.
Only travelers who show a negative test result will be able to board the flight. Passengers who test positive for COVID-19 won’t be allowed to fly, but they will be eligible for a refund or voucher for another flight, according to the airline.
Find details on Alitalia’s pre-flight testing procedures here.
“Thanks to the advancement of the tools used to control the spread of COVID-19, it is possible to apply new preventative actions to aid in the return to daily life, with greater tranquility,” according to a statement from Alitalia.
Alitalia’s pre-flight testing program is one of several COVID-testing programs being rolled out in the airline industry. Most recently, United Airlines announced the first pre-travel testing initiative by a US carrier on flights between San Francisco and Hawaii.
COVID-19 testing prior to travel is a key strategy being advocated by the International Air Transport Association as “the only realistic alternative” to blanket quarantine policies being pursued by many governments around the globe.