ADR believes that, especially with the worsening of the epidemic crisis, it is necessary to assess and implement new and additional control systems at departure, which can inhibit the movement of infected people and which can be effective alternatives to the quarantine measures currently in force.
The new travel protocols, which will operate on a trial basis on flights from the United States to Fiumicino, as provided in the Order recently signed by the Ministers of Health, Transportation and Foreign Affairs, will be progressively offered to passengers starting this coming December 2020 already. The pilot phase aims at assessing the effectiveness and functionality of the new travel procedures, looking at making it widely available in the Summer 2021 season. The Order includes the launching of the Covid Tested flights between Munich, Frankfurt and Rome Fiumicino aiming at ensuring that the new travel procedure could be tested within the European Union as well.
Travellers arriving from New York JFK, Newark and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airports, on Covid-tested flights, will not be subject to the quarantine obligation, having performed at least a molecular or antigenic test within 48 hours before boarding and repeating, for additional safety, a rapid antigenic test upon arrival at Fiumicino.
The experiment, with Italy first among European countries to implement this innovative procedure, will take advantage of the experience already successfully gained on the Covid-tested Rome-Milan flights in operation since September 16, 2020, as well as the rapid testing facilities already in operation at Fiumicino airport, with the support of Lazio Region, for a convenient and easy travel experience. In fact, since mid-August, a rapid testing centre has been active in the “Arrivals” area at Terminal 3 at Fiumicino, with results in less than 30 minutes, managed by medical staff from the Lazio Region and the USMAF – Ministry of Health. Since September, a “drive-through” testing facility has also been operational at the Fiumicino Long-Stay car park managed by the Lazio Region in coordination with Italian Red Cross, which is available to citizens as well as passengers, operating 24 hours a day.
For this pilot, Fiumicino airport, the only airport in the world to have obtained the maximum rating of 5 stars from Skytrax on its anti-Covid health protocols and just designated by ACI Europe as the best Airport in Europe for the third year in a row and recently obtained Health Accreditation by ACI is the ideal choice, thanks to the high safety standards achieved and to all the measures taken since the beginning of the pandemic: from the 100+ latest-generation temperature scanners, which measure the temperatures of passengers in less than 2 seconds, to the signage favouring the respect of the physical distancing measures, to the full sanitisation of all surfaces in the airport, to the disinfection of hold baggage, lifts and escalator handrails.
Also, this new travel procedure enhances the already very high standards of safety on the aircraft, guaranteed by the constant renewal of air in the cabin operated by highly efficient Hepa filters, confirming flights as the safest means of transport.
“Ensuring passenger safety is of the essence for relaunching air traffic, still badly impacted by the effects of the pandemic”, said the CEO of ADR, Marco Troncone. “To this end, ADR has entered, with determination, into a path based on a maximum safety airport and oriented towards proposing new safe and innovative travel protocols, first developed on a prototype basis on the Rome-Milan route and now extended to major long-haul destinations. We are proud to have been forerunners of these models, thanks tothe Ministry of Health, Transport, Foreign Affairs and Lazio Region in close coordination with Alitalia and Delta Air Lines, the country’s flag carrier and the largest global airline, respectively”.