Delta to require passenger COVID testing on some Amsterdam flights

Delta Air Lines and KLM aircraft. Source: Delta
Delta Air Lines and KLM aircraft. Source: Delta

Credit: Source: Delta

Credit: Source: Delta

Delta Air Lines announced Friday that passengers on some of its flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam will be tested for COVID-19 as part of an effort to eliminate the need for quarantining.

Starting Dec. 15, negative COVID-19 tests will allow passengers on the flights to avoid the normally required 10-day quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands. Only those traveling for essential reasons — such as work, health or education — are permitted into the country.

It’s Delta’s second such announcement that passengers will be tested. Last week, the airline said, in order for travelers to avoid quarantines in Italy, it plans to require tests of passengers on an Atlanta to Rome route starting Dec. 19.

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Atlanta-based Delta said the trial for Amsterdam flights is a partnership with the Dutch government, Hartsfield-Jackson International, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and Delta’s Dutch airline partner KLM, which has its hub at Amsterdam Schiphol.

Passengers who book flights to Amsterdam can choose from COVID-tested flights that will operate four times a week — two on Delta and two on KLM — or regular Atlanta-Amsterdam flights on Delta or KLM that won’t take part in the trial testing.

Those willing to participate in the program will need to be tested three times. They’ll take a molecular PCR test five days before arriving in Amsterdam, a rapid antigen test at Hartsfield-Jackson and a PCR test upon arrival at Amsterdam Schiphol. Negative test results will be required to board the flights.

Industry officials hope that, until vaccines are broadly available worldwide, testing of passengers for international flights will alleviate quarantine requirements, helping to boost travel.

Other airlines including United and American have already announced their own testing programs on some international routes.

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