Delta’s ‘COVID-Free’ Flights from Atlanta begin Tuesday evening

Even with the vaccine rollout, it will still be a while before air travel is back to normal. That’s why executives of Delta said they’re launching “COVID-free” international flights from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport beginning Tuesday night.

In order to board one of the flights, fliers will need to be ready for those nose swabs multiple times on the trip.

“All of the passengers on these flights will undergo a series of three tests as part of their travel routine, a test prior to departure, a test here in Atlanta immediately prior to boarding, and then a test on arrival when they get to their destination city,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s senior vice president of alliances and international at a news conference Tuesday.

In return, travelers won’t have to quarantine once they get to their destination, or worry as much about contracting the virus on the way.

“Based on the modeling we have conducted, when testing protocols are combined with multiple layers of protection, including mask requirements, proper social distancing, and environmental cleaning, we can predict that the risk of COVID-19 infection – on a flight that is 60 percent full – should be nearly one in a million,” said Dr. Henry Ting of the Mayo Clinic in Delta’s announcement.

The first of these flights are scheduled to leave Atlanta for Amsterdam on Tuesday night. Service to Rome from Atlanta is scheduled to begin on Saturday.

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