For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic spread across Europe and the US, a pilot program will allow a limited number of passengers to travel across the Atlantic from Atlanta to Italy without being quarantined on arrival, according to a press release from Delta Air Lines will be on Thursday.

The airline said it had worked with officials in both Georgia and Italy and the program would rely on a rigorous testing protocol to ensure flights are safe and “coronavirus-free”.

From December 19, all US citizens who are allowed to travel to Italy for “essential reasons such as work, health and education”, as well as all citizens of the European Union and Italy, would have to test negative for Covid-19 three times:

  • Once with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test carried out up to 72 hours before departure.

  • Once with a rapid test at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

  • And again with a quick test on arrival at Fiumicino Airport in Rome.

Passengers leaving Rome would have to pass a quick test again at the airport.

Travelers are also asked to provide information when entering the United States to aid in contact tracing protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Airlines hit by the pandemic have worked to establish safe and reliable travel corridors.

The International Air Transport Association this week forecast the sector will lose $ 157 billion by the end of next year.

“This crisis is devastating and relentless,” the organization’s director Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement.

Delta, working with Alitalia, said the airlines worked with the Mayo Clinic to develop the protocols and hoped they could serve as a model in the future.