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Italy approves Covid-tested flights from US to Milan

Passengers can now fly from the United States to northern Italy's biggest airport without quarantining if they book a special 'Covid-free' flight.

Italy approves Covid-tested flights from US to Milan
Passengers at Milan Malpensa airport. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Covid-tested flights, which require all passengers to test negative for coronavirus in the 48 hours before boarding as well as taking another test on arrival, have already been operating between the US and Rome for just over two months.

Now the Italian Health Ministry has given permission for airlines to extend the service to Milan’s Malpensa airport, the second-biggest hub in Italy after Rome Fiumicino.

In a circular issued on March 10th, the ministry also extended the scheme until at least the end of June 2021, with the possibility of continuing it further.

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That means that until at least July, passengers will be able to fly from New York or Atlanta in the US to either Rome or Milan without having to quarantine for two weeks.

Italy’s international travel restrictions continue to apply, meaning that the only people eligible to fly from the US are those with an essential reason, such as returning to a permanent residence in Italy or to study or work.

Delta could start offering the service between Milan and New York as soon as this weekend, according to reports, while American Airlines is expected to follow next month.

The first Covid-tested flights proved so popular that the Italian government recently said it wanted to extend the scheme to other countries.

Italy’s last government had already signed off on Covid-tested flights between Italy and Germany, with Lufthansa originally slated to start running services from Frankfurt and Munich to Rome early this year, but those plans were put on hold when Germany went back into lockdown.

The scheme stands to make the biggest difference for travellers outside the European Union, who currently have to spend 14 days in quarantine if they come to Italy.

People arriving from other countries within the EU or Schengen zone – with the exception of Austria – can instead simply show a negative test result from the 48 hours before travel.

Italy has also begun experimenting with Covid-tested train travel, including introducing a high-speed connection between Rome and Milan next month that passengers will have to take a test to board. If successful, the scheme could also be extended to Florence, Venice and Naples. 

Member comments

  1. Anyone know if I, a U.S. citizen, can travel to Italy from the U.S. without my Italian wife. She resides in Italy. We were separated by covid.

    1. spouses of legal residents in italy can travel to italy. I’m an american living here and my american husband was able to visit me without any problems. you just need to show proof of the relationship and have her ID and residency documents. there are other articles on this website that explain it, and you can also look at the FB groups love is not tourism-italy

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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