Italian airline begins ‘Covid-tested’ flights from Rome to Milan

Italian airline begins 'Covid-tested' flights from Rome to Milan
Alitalia passengers have the option to get tested on departure at Rome's Fiumicino airport. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
Alitalia is offering two flights a day exclusively for passengers who have tested negative for coronavirus.

The airline's 'Covid-tested' flights start on September 16th between Rome and Milan, with passengers offered a free rapid antigen test before they board.

While several Italian airports already provide testing for arriving passengers, it is the first time that departing passengers are also being urged to take a test.

The service, which is being trialled for a month but could be expanded, isn't required by any government restrictions but is instead designed to reassure travellers wary of flying.

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From now until October 16th, to board either of Alitalia's flights AZ 2038 (leaving at 13:30) or AZ 2092 (17:30) from Rome Fiumicino to Milan Linate, passengers must show proof that they have tested negative.

Passengers planning to take the test at Fiumicino airport are advised to arrive at least an hour and a half before their flight. They can go directly from the departures area to a testing centre in Terminal 3 (find a map here), where they will be given a nasal swab that can reveal within 30 minutes whether or not they have the coronavirus.

They must wait in the testing centre for the results: if it's negative they can proceed to the gate; if it's positive they'll be put in isolation, given a molecular (PCR) swab test to confirm the result and if necessary, instructed on quarantine procedures.


Passengers wait to be tested at Fiumicino airport in Rome. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Alternatively passengers can get tested before the day of their flight, in which case they'll need to bring with them to the airport the result of either a PCR or antigen swab test carried out no more than 72 hours earlier.

Passengers who don't want to get tested can switch to any of Alitalia's other Rome-Milan flights at no additional cost, while passengers who are denied boarding after testing positive can get a full refund.

Children under six are not obliged to take a test.

Fiumicino was one of the first airports in Italy to set up an onsite testing centre and has been commended by airport reviewer Skytrax for its Covid-19 safety measures, recently earning the site's only five-star rating of any airport in the world.

In addition to the testing facility in Terminal 3, Fiumicino also operates a 24-hour drive-through testing centre in its car park that is the largest of its kind in Italy.

Under the Italian government's current rules, getting a coronavirus test is mandatory for passengers arriving from Spain, Greece, Croatia or Malta.

Travellers from other countries are not required to get tested, nor does Italy oblige departing passengers to take a test.

READ ALSO: What to expect when you're flying to Italy


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