If you’re a Canadian dreaming of spending the summer in Italy, that reality just became one step closer. Air Canada is the first Canadian airline to announce they will begin operating COVID-tested flights to Rome, Italy from Toronto and Montréal starting early July.
Air Canada Launching Covid-tested Flights to Italy in July
Air Canada has announced they will begin operating government-approved, COVID-tested flights to Rome, Italy from Toronto and Montréal starting on July 2, 2021.
So far, Air Canada is the only Canadian carrier participating in the program, which offers Canadians the ability to travel to Italy without the need to quarantine.
How Do Covid-tested Flights Work?
Covid-tested flights are flights that the Ministry of Health has authorized in which passengers are tested for the virus before and after flying, which also allows them to skip the 10-day quarantine that Italy requires.
All passengers on the flight will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 antigenic, or molecular test was taken within 48 hours of departure, hand in this declaration by the Italian ministry, complete the Passenger Locator Form, and take another Covid-19 test on arrival in Italy.
All Canadians returning to Canada from Italy must still follow the current Covid-19 entry protocols.
Is Italy Open For Tourism?
Last month, Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi, changed the entry requirements for travelers from North America.
Draghi encouraged visitors to come to Italy while he made the announcement. He said that they would drop the quarantine for vaccinated passengers and expand the use of Covid-tested flights.
“Our goal is to reopen Italy for tourism, domestic and international. The pandemic has had vast economic effects on the tourism industry and we’re working to get it going again as soon as possible and in maximum safety.”
During the announcement, he said that travelers from the USA, Canada, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates coming on specific Covid-tested flights are allowed to visit per the new decree, which is in effect until June 30th, 2021.
After that news, Delta and American Airlines announced Covid-tested flights from various cities in the United States, dubbing them ‘quarantine-free’ flights, as arriving on one allows also passengers to skip the 10-day quarantine in Italy.
Air Canada is the first Canadian airline to launch Covid-tested flights from Canada. Previous to this, Canadians have been entering the U.S. to take advantage of the authorized flights from there to avoid the quarantine upon arrival in Italy.
Can You Travel To The Rest of Europe?
The EU announced last month that there would be a blanket easing of restrictions for travelers from countries with low infection rates.
Under the new framework, the new incidence rate of countries must be lower than 75 cases per 100,000 people in order to be included in the safe list, which Canada would not be on at present.
However, with vaccination rates steadily increasing and Covid-19 cases dropping, it’s possible Canada could be added to the list by July.
The EU also recommended that those who are vaccinated should also be allowed to holiday in the EU, and member states should be free to decide on entrance measures such as testing on arrival or the need to quarantine.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com