The risk of exposure to COVID-19 when flying between New York and London after all the passengers have obtained a negative PRC test result 72 hours in advance is less than a one in a million, a study of transatlantic service by Delta Air Lines has shown. Travel Weekly has more.
The research examined data from almost 10,000 passengers on Delta’s Covid-tested flights between New York-JFK and Atlanta to Rome.
It found that a single COVID-19 molecular test performed within 72 hours of departure could decrease the rate of people actively infected on board to a level that is significantly below active community infection rates.
For example, when the average community infection rate was at 1.1% – or about one in 100 people – infection rates on Covid tested flights were 0.05% or five in 10,000 passengers.
The U.S. carrier’s chief health officer Dr Henry Ting said: “When you couple the extremely low infection rate on board a Covid-19-tested flight with the layers of protection on board including mandatory masking and hospital-grade air filtration, the risk of transmission is less than one in one million between the United States and the United Kingdom, for example.
“These numbers will improve further as vaccination rates increase and new cases decrease worldwide.”
He added: “We are going to live with COVID-19 variants for some time. This real-world data – not simulation models – is what governments around the world can use as a blueprint for requiring vaccinations and testing instead of quarantines to re-open borders for international travel.”
Using real world data to assess the risk posed by COVID-19? That’ll never catch on.
Worth reading in full.