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Italian airline offers ‘COVID-tested flights’ to oversee coronavirus cases

Forget in-flight meals – one airline is offering a new kind of must-have freebie.

Italian carrier Alitalia hopes to protect passengers from COVID-19 by testing travelers for the viral disease before they board select flights.

To board the “COVID-tested flights,” passengers will have to either take a free rapid antigen test at the airport or bring a medical certificate with a negative molecular or antigenic test result from within 72 hours before boarding.

Passengers who are tested at the airport will have their results in 30 minutes, according to the airline.

“Thanks to the advancement of the tools used to control the spread of COVID-19, it is possible to apply new preventative actions to aid in the return to daily life, with greater tranquility,” Alitalia wrote on its website.

Passengers who test positive for COVID-19 won’t be able to board, but they will be eligible for a refund or voucher for another flight, according to the airline.

Alitalia is currently only offering the tested flights between Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate, for now.

The airline has taken more safety precautions for other flights, too. Passengers have to wear face masks and replace them every four hours. Travelers also have to complete a self-certification form before boarding which certifies they have not been in contact with anyone diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Alitalia has also cut back on in-flight service and added more sanitizing procedures for its planes. It has suspended priority boarding to load planes starting at the rear in order to allow more social distancing. The airline is also checking passengers’ body temperatures at some airports.

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