Italy's rail operator, Ferrovie della Stato Italiane (FS Italiane Group) has announced plans to operate 'Covid-free' train routes to major local destinations starting April.
The Rome to Milan route has been chosen for the initial testing phase, and if all goes well, the pandemic-safe trains will connect to more popular tourist cities the likes of Florence and Venice — in time for summer's holiday peak season.
All passengers and staff are required to arrive an hour ahead of departure for Covid-19 tests before boarding, according to a CNN report. These tests will be managed by teams from the Italian Civil Protection and Italian Red Cross.
Currently, trains are operating at 50% capacity, with all onboard required to wear masks and stick to pre-assigned seats.
This is also just one of a few pandemic-related announcements made by FS Italiane Group.
In March, the Italian Red Cross announced their collaboration on another Covid related project with FS Italiane Group: turning the Roma Termini station into the first major Italian railway hub to host a Covid-19 vaccination point. At full capacity, the initiative will be able to administer some 1,500 vaccinations per day.
A healthcare train has been set aside to serve Italy in the face of emergencies and disasters. The train will transport patients around Italy or abroad to "relieve pressure on local hospital facilities, as well as presenting a means of integrating with the Italian healthcare service to manage emergencies," said a press statement.
Italy re-imposed a fresh lockdown on Monday, 15 March, as cases once again spiked across Europe.