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Italy to offer 30-minute Covid tests before flights to make sure ‘everyone is negative on board’

ITALY are launching quick Covid-19 tests for passengers boarding their flight, to ensure the journey is “Covid-free”.

With results in just 30 minutes, passengers will be able to fly knowing other travellers do not have the virus.

Fiumicino Airport in Rome already offers the quick – and free – coronavirus tests for all arrivals from Spain, Greece, Malta and Croatia.

However, it plans to roll it out for all departing travellers, with a trial flight to Milan already in the works.

Marco Troncone, ADR chief executive who run the airport, told the Times: “On those flights you know the person next to you is negative.”

Anyone who tests positive will be stopped from boarding the flight and forced to take another test, although will also be given a voucher for an alternative flight.

If the trials are successful, it will be rolled out from Rome to New York flights, reassuring passengers for the seven-hour route.

Mr Trocone added that it would also make sure “there would be no need for quarantine” if the flight is Covid-free.

A number of outbreaks have been linked on flights, forcing the entire cabin to quarantine.

Two TUI flights from Zante to Wales were told to self-isolate after one plane reported 16 cases from the flight.

However, the new pre-flight test is unlikely to be rolled out in the UK anytime soon, with the government instead enforcing two week quarantines instead.

The measure has been slammed by the travel industry and is accused of crippling the already struggling airlines and airports.

London Heathrow has already announced that an airside Covid-19 testing centre in Terminal Two is ready to swab its first passengers, for £150 a go.

The new facility has been set up by Collinson and Swissport in Terminal 2 at the west London airport.

However, the Government needs to give the green light to start the trial.

Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Testing will not only avoid the ‘quarantine roulette’ that so many passengers faced in Spain and France, it will also open up flights to key trading partners such as the US, Canada and Singapore.”

There are just 14 destinations where Brits can travel without quarantining on arrival or back in the UK.

Along with islands in Portugal, Italy and Turkey, holidays to Cuba, some of the Greek islands and Sweden are still possible.

 

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