COVID-free high-speed trains hold promise for summer travel to Italy

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State-run Trenitalia has announced the first COVID-free high-speed train service in Europe, Fresciarossa, on its non-stop line between Rome and Milan, Italy’s busiest rail line.

Last Friday (April 16), these trains started operating on an experimental basis, twice a day in each direction. If successful, the company hopes to expand the COVID-free service to other routes.

Italian media report that although no specific plan is yet in place, Gianfranco Battisti, managing director of the FS group that oversees the train line, said stations in Florence, Venice and Naples, among others, may have problems. similar test centers.

To board trains, passengers must arrive at least 45 minutes before departure with a certification of negative PRC / Molecular or nasal swab antigen test results taken within 48 hours of departure.

Passengers may also, subject to availability, undergo a nasal swab test on site in tents set up by the Italian Red Cross at Rome Termini and Milano Centrale stations. To get tested, passengers must have a ticket for a COVID-free train on hand, but can get a full refund if they test positive.

Once on the train, masks are mandatory and Trenitalia uses a “checkerboard” seating arrangement with a maximum capacity of 50 percent.

If travel rebounds in late spring or summer, this could be an attractive option for tourists who want to travel between different cities in Italy.

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