As of September 16, Italian airline Alitalia has introduced two daily ‘trial flights’ from Rome to Milan where boarding is only allowed to passengers who have tested negative for coronavirus.
The flights are: AZ 2038 leaving at 13:30 (operates daily) and AZ 2092 leaving at 17:30 (operates Monday to Friday) from Rome Fiumicino to Milan Linate.
Until October 16, 2020 (the trial period), only passengers who have tested negative for coronavirus will be allowed on board these flights. While this is not required by the Italian government, Alitalia is doing it to encourage passengers to resume flying and to help them feel safe when doing so.
Passengers have the option to get tested either before their flight, in which case they have to show the result of a molecular or antigen test carried out no more than 72 hours earlier; or they can get tested directly at the airport, at a testing center set up at Fiumicino’s Terminal 3 in the Arrivals hall, where a free, rapid antigen test in the form of a nasal swab will deliver results in 30 minutes. While waiting for results, passengers must wait in the testing center, and can proceed to the gate if the test comes out negative. If it comes out positive, they’ll be tested with a molecular test to confirm the results and be given instructions on quarantine procedures. They will also be refunded the ticket.
This is the first time that passengers are tested before boarding a flight. Several Italian airports have set up testing centers, but only for arriving passengers. Currently, it is mandatory for passengers arriving from Spain, Greece, Croatia and Malta to get a coronavirus test. All other passengers are not required to take a test.
Fiumicino airport offers an additional testing facility, a 24-hour drive-through set up in the car park ‘Lunga Sosta’. It is the largest in Italy, and passengers wanting to board the two Alitalia flights mentioned above can also take the test there from 72 up to 2 hours before departing.
Fiumicino Airport was the first airport in the world to be certified with the COVID-19 5-Star Airport Rating by international air transport rating agency Skytrax.
For more information on Alitalia's Covid-tested flights, click here.